Former Astros bench coach and Red Sox manager Alex Cora was among those who bore the brunt of the punishment Major League Baseball handed down over Houston’s sign-stealing scandal from its 2017 World Series-winning campaign. Although they were just over a year removed from winning their own title under Cora in 2018, his first season as their skipper, the Red Sox parted with Cora back in January. MLB then suspended Cora through the 2020 postseason this past April.
Shortly after the league banned Cora, he issued a statement taking “full responsibility” for his role in the Astros’ misdeeds. Cora remains contrite for his actions as a Houston assistant, per Marly Rivera of ESPN.com, but he’s unhappy that he and former Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran have gotten so much blame in comparison to many other members of the organization.
Rivera’s piece is worth reading in full for all of Cora’s quotes, but he said, in part: “Out of this whole process, if there is one thing that I completely reject and disagree with is people within the Astros’ organization singling me out, particularly [former general manager] Jeff Luhnow, as if I were the sole mastermind. The commissioner’s report sort of explained, in its own way, what happened. But the [Astros players] have spoken up and refuted any allegations that I was solely responsible.”
Cora added that “it was not a two-man show. We all did it.” However, he admitted that the ban the league handed him was deserved and he has to pay for his mistakes.
It now remains to be seen whether some of the key members of the scandal will return to the majors. Luhnow and ex-Astros manager A.J. Hinch received one-year suspensions in January. Beltran, now retired from playing, became the Mets’ manager in November, but the team ousted him around the time the league booted Luhnow and Hinch. Cora, though, could be helping his cause with the remorse he has shown throughout this process. He’s also just 44 years and someone with an excellent track record as a manager. And for what it’s worth, Cora told Rivera he “absolutely” wants to get back in the game at some point. For now, though, he’s focusing on his family.