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OTM Roundtable: Rating excitement for the Alex Cora hiring

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Where does the staff land on the move?

Alex Cora Boston Red Sox Manager Press Conference Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

With the offseason still crawling at a near-nonexistent pace, the big news for the Red Sox these days remains the hiring of Alex Cora, unless you count them signing Kevin McCarthy to a minor-league deal, which I assume you do not. So, with this being the case Cora was an obvious topic for our staff roundtable this week. Specifically, I asked about the excitement level regarding the hiring, rated on a scale of 1-10.

Jake Kostik

I have to give the return of Alex Cora a 9/10 on the excitement scale.

While the actual decision is fairly controversial, and we’re going to get no end of “cheating Red Sox” comments from here to the end of the universe, at the end of the day as long as Cora and the Red Sox play cleanly, it doesn’t have any real effect going forward on us. From my point of view, this is the only real con of bringing Cora back, and I kind of have to stretch to make that argument.

On the other hand, why he’s a great manager for the Red Sox is evident. He know this roster. He isn’t Ron Roenicke. He’s going to make decisions. Some of them won’t be perfect, but they will at least be explainable. The thing that is the most important to me, is his connections to the younger players on the roster, such as Rafael Devers, and his connection with several of our core pieces, such as Eduardo Rodriguez and Xander Bogaerts. He has a fantastic rapport with these players and that goes a long way.

Michael Walsh

I’ve felt like people are just a tad too excited for Cora’s return. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and think he’s a perfect fit for the job and the clubhouse, but the stakes are drastically different for his second tenure. When he was hired in 2018, his job was to get a loaded Sox team over the ALDS hump. Now, he’s being brought in during a semi-rebuild. No matter how well he manages, the Sox likely won’t be championship contenders in 2021. So I’ll go with a 7/10 - perfect guy for the job, but it’s tough for me to get super excited about the hiring of a manager given the current state of the Red Sox.

Alex Cora Boston Red Sox Manager Press Conference Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Shelly Verougstraete

I’d put my excitement with Alex Cora returning at an 8. I thought Cora was a great player manager and knew how to get the best out of his team. While I thought his punishment should have been a bit more severe, he served his time.

Mike Carlucci

I didn’t really want Alex Cora back in Boston. Not that he wasn’t a good manager, but that he had a shot and lost it because of his actions. His role in the Banging Scheme, whatever it actually was, kind of makes him an odd fit running a clubhouse. Sam Fuld seemed like an interesting managerial target, why not give him a try? But once A.J. Hinch was hired, bringing back Cora was a safe choice. If baseball has moved on, I can too. At least we didn’t get cursed with Tony LaRussa. I’ll give this a very solid 8.

Phil Nueffer

I’m a bit conflicted, as I’m sure many Red Sox fans are. On the one hand, it is a bit weird to fire and hire a guy all in one year and there’s no escaping the small cloud that will hang over him due to the sign-stealing scandal, at least in the near future. However, Cora seems genuine in expressing his remorse and desire for redemption. In addition, I think he is a great manager and having him back in the lead harkens back to more successful Red Sox teams. From a purely baseball-centric perspective, I think this is a no-brainer. Based on all accounts, Cora works well with players and has already proven he can be successful, even if he might have gotten some extra help before. Put me down for a 6.

Keaton DeRocher

I’d say a 6. He’s a good manager and I’m happy to have him but it’s really like he never left since he was suspended for a year anyway and this always felt like this was going to be the end result. There’s just no pizzaz to spark excitement with this re-hire. I’m just happy to have a good manager.

Jake Devereaux

I am at a pretty solid 8 in terms of excitement for Alex Cora returning to the Red Sox. Of course I think what he did with the Astros was wrong and I do think he knew about what little was going on with the Red Sox in 2018. He paid the price for 2017 with a full year suspension from his dream job. To me that’s good enough. I couldn’t care less about the 2018 stuff because honestly it sounds like nothing. I also believe that countless other teams around baseball are and were trying to do the same things.

On the baseball side of things I’m super excited. I think Cora knows how to unlock the best from Rafael Devers and Eduardo Rodriguez and it’s very clear that other players like Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vázquez love playing for him. I believe Cora is the right guy to be around as the Red Sox start to form their next contending roster. Cora’s baseball decisions are very dynamic and I expect that the team will function at an exceptionally high level under his leadership. Welcome back Alex.

Bryan Joiner

I’m gonna say 6. I covered a lot of this yesterday but, while there are obvious reasons to be happy about Cora coming back, there are also reasons not to be excited — the whole thing is just a little much. That said, this feeling will pass as the season approaches and games start and it’ll be neat to have him back, so maybe I’m underselling it. It’s just hard to give this team a lot of credit right now for digging its way out of its own hole.

Matt Collins

I’m gonna sit directly on the fence with a 5. I’ve made my case plenty of times already about why I didn’t think this should have been the decision, and I won’t rehash all of that. It’s already been mentioned above. I think he is a good manager and will be good specifically for a lot of players on this roster, but at the end of the day I can’t get the past out of my head and that affects the excitement levels.