BOSTON — The Red Sox announced Tuesday night that they have mutually agreed to part ways with manager Alex Cora, ending a two-year stint that began with the winningest season in franchise history and a World Series championship in 2018 and ended in a cloud of controversy after Cora was implicated in two separate sign-stealing scandals investigated by Major League Baseball.
Cora, who led the Sox to a 192-132 record in two seasons, was awaiting significant discipline from Major League Baseball after being revealed as one of the ringleaders in Houston’s complex scheme to steal signs from opponents in 2017. Commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday that Cora, who served as Houston’s bench coach in 2017, helped the Astros devise two separate illegal schemes but decided to withhold Cora’s punishment until after his investigation into the Red Sox’ own sign-stealing practices in 2018 is complete.
Principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, team president and CEO Sam Kennedy and Cora released a joint statement announcing the move.
“Today we met to discuss the Commissioner’s report related to the Houston Astros investigation,” the statement read. “Given the findings and the Commissioner’s ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways.
“This is a sad day for us,” the statement continued. “Alex is a special person and a beloved member of the Red Sox. We are grateful for his impact on our franchise. We will miss his passion, his energy and his significant contributions to the communities of New England and Puerto Rico.”
Cora, who will still be disciplined by Major League Baseball, was in Boston this week for organizational meetings and met with ownership over the past two days.
“I want to thank John, Tom, Sam, the players, our coaching staff and the entire Red Sox organization,” Cora said in the statement. “I especially want to thank my family for their love and support.
“We agreed today that parting ways was the best thing for the organization,” he continued. “I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life. It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston. I will forever be indebted to the organization and the fans who supported me as a player, a manager and in my efforts to help Puerto Rico. This is a special place. There is nothing like it in all of baseball, and I will miss it dearly.”
Cora is the third casualty of the Astros’ scandal, joining Houston manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, who were both fired Monday. It’s currently unclear how the Red Sox will proceed at manager with four weeks remaining before the start of spring training.