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Alex Cora Is Coming Back to the Red Sox

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“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” Manfred wrote in January. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players’ conduct.”

Soon afterward, the Red Sox and Cora “mutually agreed to part ways.” While Red Sox officials then said that Cora had expressed remorse to them, Cora’s team-issued statement didn’t have an apology or admission of wrongdoing. Cora thanked the team’s executives and called his two seasons with the Red Sox “the best years of my life.”

It wasn’t until April, when M.L.B. announced its investigation into allegations of the Red Sox stealing signs during the 2018 season, that Cora first publicly apologized. He said then that he took “full responsibility” for his role in the Astros’ scandal and called the team’s collective conduct “unacceptable.”

Cora was not disciplined by M.L.B. relating to Boston’s sign-stealing scandal, which Manfred called “far more limited in scope and impact” than Houston’s. J.T. Watkins, the Red Sox video replay operator, was the only person formally disciplined as a result of that report. At the time, though, Manfred announced Cora’s suspension for the 2020 season for his role with the Astros’ sign stealing.

During the 2019 season, the Red Sox fired Dave Dombrowski, their president of baseball operations who had hired Cora and helped build the team that won the 2018 title. Chaim Bloom replaced Dombrowski and promoted Cora’s bench coach, Ron Roenicke, to manager for the 2020 season.

The Red Sox, who are rebuilding under Bloom, were one of the worst teams in the major leagues this year, going 24-36 during the truncated season. Before the final game of the season, the Red Sox told Roenicke he would not return as manager in 2021, once again fueling speculation that Cora would return.

“Cora is an outstanding manager, and the right person to lead our club into 2021 and beyond,” Bloom said in a statement on Friday.

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