Red Sox: Four good things that happened for Boston during 2020
The Red Sox re-hire Alex Cora
This is something that still feels a bit controversial despite it occurring over a month ago. When Alex Cora was fired, or mutually parted ways, whatever tag you want to place on it, he began to brandish the Scarlett Letter. He was involved in the 2017 cheating scandal perpetrated by the Houston Astros and doesn’t deny that. His biggest argument comes in the way that he wasn’t the sole deviant but we’ll never fully know the truth.
When Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox announced that Cora would be coming back it seemed like the fanbase began to split. You have those that realize it’s a great idea to bring back the guy that managed the team to its winningest season ever. Then you have the other portion that can’t move past what happened in Houston and the then baseless accusation surrounding 2018. The bottom line is that this team is far better with AC in the manager’s office than it is without it, and we saw that in 2020.
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Ron Roenicke is a solid manager but he simply isn’t made to lead in this current climate. Every time I saw him talking to a younger player my mind instantly became curious as to what they could be talking about. I’d often think about Verdugo or Rafael Devers trying to talk to him about something popular and it going over his head. Possibly even a Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson dynamic. Cora has a great ability to connect with his players both young and veteran through clear communication and his history as a player.
Guys like Raffy, Xander Bogaerts, and Christian Vazquez all reached career bests while under the guidance of Cora. Again, it’s not just the fundamentals on the field that Alex worries about, he connects with his team beyond the ballpark. Not that Roenicke didn’t try to do that, but from what we’ve seen over the last three years, Cora just has that natural ability to build people up.
We’ll have no shortage of people wanting to call Cora a cheater and will worry about how to explain what he did in 2017 to their kids because that’s something that matters I guess. When it’s all said and done though, having him back in the clubhouse can only help the mess that was the 2020 squad. Even a showing like we saw in 2019 would be a massive improvement over this year. Bringing him back into the fold should absolutely be considered a positive from this year as we move into 2021.