Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was fired this past Tuesday for his role in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal. The former Houston bench coach and the Red Sox “agreed to mutually part ways”. Please hold the tawdry public relations verbiage – dude got fired for cheating.
Cora was instrumental in beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in back-to-back World Series. Rewind to a year ago, Cora was one of, if not the, best young manager in the game. His players loved him. Analysts adored him. His native country of Puerto Rico revered him for his philanthropy.
Rewind over two decades ago and Cora was a young, sure-handed middle infielder coming up through the Dodgers system.
In an inconsistent era, featuring one lone playoff appearance, Alex Cora and Cesar Izturis’s artful double plays were one of the few things Dodger fans could cheer for. Endearing themselves to the fanbase one smooth double play at a time. Cora, who averaged 34 RBI a season with the Dodgers, was hardly a threat at the plate. His steady glove always made the bus.
Years ago, Cesar Izturis, Paul Loduca, Jim Tracy and Haysin Werth all said one March day that Alex Cora was the smartest man in baseball
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) October 22, 2017
Every fanbase adores the offensively deficient grinder, but whose hard work on the less glamorous side of the ball, or puck, shines through.
The fact that it was Alex Cora who devised the sign stealing system that cheated the very team that drafted him out of their first World Series title since 1988 reads like a network television plot twist. The team that gave a 22 year-old his first shot at playing in the major leagues. The team that drafted him.
A man we all cheered for, who was regarded in baseball circles as a “stand up guy” who “wants to get things done the right way”, illegally ripped our guts out. Maybe twice. Even worse, Cora’s actions, leave the Dodgers faithful in a hollow emotional position: we aren’t legitimate champions, but neither is the team that beat us in the championship.
Nobody knows how to twist the knife deeper into the heart than a true killer.