Red Sox News: Christian Vazquez supports Alex Cora in a return to Boston
Christian Vazquez supports Alex Cora as next Red Sox manager
It’s been a few weeks since the Red Sox parted ways with Ron Roenicke and officially vacated the manager’s chair at Fenway Park. All season long it was known that Roenicke was more of a band-aid manager until Chaim Bloom could name his next skipper. For most fans though, there’s only one name that should be on the list to fill that seat and it’s a very familiar face.
Alex Cora will go down as one of the most beloved people to wear a Red Sox uniform as he not only won a World Series as a player but also as a manager. In his first year as Boston’s boss, he brought the team to a 108-54 regular-season record, the best in franchise history. They’d also cruise to an impressive 11-3 record through the postseason and bring home the Commissioner’s Trophy.
A rough 2019 full of disappointment would bring the Red Sox crashing down and they’d miss the postseason just a year after winning it all. Soon after that, the report that would shake the baseball world came out and Cora would lose his job due to his involvement in the Houston Astros cheating scandal. His one-year suspension is nearly up though and his phone will be ringing right away from teams looking for a new skipper. The first one to reach out needs to be Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox.
Per Chris Cotillo of Masslive.com, Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez was a recent guest on Carlos Baerga’s “Baerga y sus amigos,” and he threw his full support behind a Cora return. It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear Vazqy support his former manager during Boston’s search, the catcher saw some of his best years under Cora’s watch.
"“I would love if Alex comes back,” Vazquez said in Spanish. “I would love that. I think Alex brought so many positive things to the team. We need a leader to continue and Alex is a leader."
In 2019, Cora’s second year as manager, Vazquez saw career numbers in damn near every category as he posted a .276/.320/.477/.798 line with 23 bombs and 72 RBI while drawing 33 walks. It was also the first year where he was named the full-time catcher and didn’t have to split significant time with anyone else.
The combination of support from his skipper and the full slate of playing time did wonders for the catcher’s career. Again, not much of a shock that he’d want Cora back.
Though Roenicke did what was asked of him, he only had a year left on his current deal so the writing was always on the wall. As much as he said towards the end of the year that he wanted to continue managing, that may have been more lip service than anything.
Finishing in the basement of the AL East and as the fourth-worst team in all of baseball isn’t quite the resume builder. Now that he and the Red Sox have parted ways, it’s clear that Red Sox Nation is calling for the return of Cora.
"“Alex listens and understands,” Vazquez continued. “He knows so much about baseball. He’s like a father to all of us. He brought us together, the team, in 2018, having the year we had. I think he deserves another opportunity to return to a winning team as manager. I think he deserves that.”"
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There was a point where a vocal part of the fanbase wanted nothing to do with Cora due to the scandal, but a last-place finish has changed that mindset. I can’t recall the last time I saw a fan denounce a Cora return and it seems as if he’d be more than welcomed back to Boston. Add in the fact that the ownership thrives on positive PR and re-hiring one of the most successful managers in team history as he tries to resurrect his career could do the trick for FSG.
Vazquez is one of the key members of this Red Sox club and having his vote of support could mean a lot when it comes to hiring the next manager. As many other members of this club saw some of their best seasons under the mentorship of Cora, I doubt Vazqy will be the last to speak his mind on the hiring process. When all is said and done the decision is up to Chaim Bloom, as his bosses have made that clear, but I’m sure he’ll take the input of Red Sox ownership as well as his players.
Alex Cora worked some serious magic while with the Red Sox and it was easy to see in 2020 that his energy and spirit were greatly missed. Even in 2019’s disappointment, the team still finished with an 84-78 record and had moments where it felt like they could contend. The most important part was that at no point in the season did it feel like he lost the team. As Boston looks to rebound from being one of the worst teams in baseball, bringing back a familiar face could be just what they need to climb the mountain once again.