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The last indignity, for now

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Theory: The Sox can start acting normally,

Alex Cora Boston Red Sox Manager Press Conference
He’s back!
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

I am probably happy the Red Sox brought Alex Cora back. Who’s to say, really? The Red Sox have been so utterly ridiculous this year, narratively, that this final reveal is playing upon a deadened soul. Do I like Cora? Yes. Do the Sox like Cora? Obviously! Is this move unanimously popular? Sweet Aceves, no.

While most Sox fans on Twitter seems to be somewhere between pleased and ecstatic at Cora’s return, there is a vocal minority that considers this just the latest indignity in a year with enough of them to last a decade. OTM contributor Brady Childs is particularly incensed, and while I don’t have the same energy, I can’t blame him. Here’s just one of several tweets on the subject, you’ll get the gist:

Brades is hung up on the “evidence points to Cora being a cheater to the degree that, at the very least, his two most successful seasons in a position of leadership have been marred by scandal,” to paraphrase, and, I mean, yeah? I consider the difference between what the 2017 Astros and 2018 Red Sox did big enough to sweep 2018’s malfeasance under the rug, but I also really want to believe that, so maybe I’m telling myself a fake story in order to live peacefully. In my case, at least, it’s working.

What’s clear and has been since January is that the Sox are gonna do what they want to do, no matter how embarrassing, then sit around for a press conference and stammer their way through it. Could they make it easier on themselves? Yes! They could avoid cringe-level activities by acting like a normal big-market team with billionaire owners and an endless supply of potential hires, but recently they’ve chosen the road far more traveled in the club’s history: matching each positive achievement with a negative aspect, so that they don’t rock the boat and get too successful, or less embarrassing.

On the bright side, this seems like the last opportunity the Sox had to stick a fork in the eyes of the fans for the foreseeable future, and the last time they’ll make a move and have to sit around and make Chaim Bloom answer tough questions about decisions he didn’t really make. He insisted this was purely a baseball ops move, but he said the same thing about The Trade, and that’s all you need to know on that. He’s their fall guy, and, lucky for him, there isn’t too much further to fall.

No, now is the long building process, starting with the development of a new pitching staff to replace the currently decimated one. Even if next year’s hurlers are embarrassing on the field, it probably won’t be for long, as the Sox seem likely to deploy at least some of their (effectively infinite) resources toward rectifying that in as straightforward a manner as possible. Cringe is probably off the menu for good, not that I’d put it past them, it’s just that at some point Bloom ought to be able to truly make his own decisions, and when he has identifiably done so they’ve been pretty good. It’s time for more of that and less of whatever farce 2020 has been.

No matter where you fall on the Cora affair (and, to be fair, you’re probably happy he’s back), it ought to feel refreshing that all this nonsense is over. At least, it does for me. I don’t want to sit here perpetually furious at this team for making me love it despite everything it does, and I finally see the shine at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to move out of the darkness, and into the light.