Abraham: Red Sox Could Be Punished; Cora Will Be Missed

Given the Astros' transgressions in 2017, Boston's 2018 World Series title – won with Alex Cora at the helm – has been called into question

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
February 07, 2020 - 7:17 am
Alex Cora Red Sox

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While the Houston Astros’ 2017 World Series title will forever be tainted because of a sign-stealing scandal, many are wondering if the Boston Red Sox will suffer the same fate. After all, former Astros bench coach Alex Cora managed the Red Sox when they won the World Series in 2018.

Was Boston up to no good that season?

“They seem very adamant over the idea that they did not do anything like the Astros did,” Boston Globe Red Sox reporter Pete Abraham said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Since then, J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers and a number of other players have said that there’s not going to be anything to find, that they didn’t have any kind of illegal system at play during the 2018 season. But at the same time, Alex Cora was found guilty by MLB for what he did as the bench coach of the Astros in 2017. He then became manager of the Red Sox a few weeks later. So it’s hard not to wonder what they were doing in 2018. The Red Sox were a very talented offensive team. They scored a ton of runs that year. But the Astros were that kind of team in 2017. So I think they’re going to find something that the Red Sox will be punished for, but I don’t think it’s going to be as extensive as what the Astros were up to.”

Cora, 44, was fired in January – one of three managers to lose his job over the Astros’ scandal. A.J. Hinch and Carlos Beltran were the others.

“Well, it’s interesting because the commissioner didn’t punish him after the Astros investigation, saying he would withhold that punishment until after the Red Sox investigation,” Abraham said. “So you would think Cora is going to get at least a year suspension, if not more. At that point, if the Red Sox are found to really have done something, it could be a long suspension, if not a ban. For a guy whose whole life has been wrapped around baseball and really relished managing the Red Sox, I don’t know what he’s going to do. This is a guy who lives and breathes baseball. For him to be barred from going to the park – any park – is really going to kill him.”

One must wonder how Cora’s absence will affect the Red Sox, who last year went 84-78 and missed the playoffs.

“I think it’s going to affect them tremendously, and I think the new manager is going to have a tough task,” Abraham said. “Alex is a very charismatic guy going back to his days as a player and when he was on ESPN. The players trusted him right from the get go. . . . There was no player in the clubhouse that he couldn’t relate to in some way. Those guys were a very close bunch. You saw Alex in the clubhouse all the time, talking to the players, sitting at their locker. It wasn’t like he was a player, but he was a lot closer to the players than most managers I’ve seen – and it worked. The Red Sox were successful. The new manager, whoever it is, it’s going to be hard for him to come in and – not get this team’s attention, but get this team’s attention in a way that Alex did. Alex was such a unique person in that regard, and it’s going to be difficult for whoever comes in to follow him.”