Well, we knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less jarring. Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a mutual parting. Both the man and the team decided that the writing was on the wall with the punishments doled out to both A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow of the Houston Astros. Cora’s name was mentioned eleven times in that nine-page report and Major League Baseball made it clear that a punishment is headed in the Red Sox direction following their investigation.
I’m not surprised that Cora is gone, I am surprised that it was, according to statements from him and the team, as much his idea as the team’s to leave. I do believe he will be punished for at least as long as Hinch and Luhnow and I’d actually bet on his punishment being more severe. In the statement released by the Red Sox, which had a quote from Cora, there is no remorse from the former skipper. Cora simply says in his statement that he didn’t want to become a distraction to the team.
How Cora feels about this event is telling. Yes, the Red Sox and Cora broke the rules, but those rules were being broken by many teams and decoding other teams signs is a well established part of baseball. Technology has allowed that process to change and it is clear Cora is grappling with the idea that utilizing this changing technology makes this age old practice go from one that is lauded as a skill to one that is punishable by expulsion from the game.
The bottom line is that Cora is now out as manager and the team is left to fill that void in mid-January. Will Chaim Bloom go with someone already in the organization, even if such person is just a stopgap? Will he go with who he is tabbing as his next guy? These are the questions that will be answered in the coming days. We should also figure out, eventually, what the Red Sox punishment will be in terms of money and lost draft picks. If the Astros are any indication, its going to hurt.
The whole event sucks and it makes an already frustrating offseason rife with Mookie Betts trade rumors even worse. No spending, talk of losing the Red Sox best player, and now this. Bloom certainly has his hands full in his first season with the team, I don’t think I’d want to be him right now. As bleak as this whole situation seems just remember that the only franchise we might rather trade the last decade with is the San Francisco Giants—things are still quite good. The team will get through this and regardless of who is managing on March 26th we will have baseball back in our lives.