The decision for the Red Sox to part ways with manager Alex Cora was an “easy decision,” team president Sam Kennedy said Wednesday.
In a press conference at Fenway Park, Kennedy along with principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom were careful with their words, but confident that letting go of Cora was the right move.
“We’ve held this wonderful baseball club to a very high standard,” Henry said during opening remarks. “Today, this week, is not any different. We must ensure everybody in the organization represents the club in a manner that deserves the support and respect of our fans.”
Henry, Werner, Kennedy and Bloom wouldn’t comment at all about Cora’s role in either the Astros’ or the Red Sox’ sign-stealing scandals, repeating over and over that they’d reserve judgment on their own club’s wrongdoing until MLB finishes its investigation into the 2018 Red Sox.
But they made it clear that moving on from Cora was an easy decision, the right decision and one that was made because of his actions in the Astros’ scandal, and not at all for anything related to potential wrongdoings with the Red Sox.
“We don’t have all the facts yet ourselves,” Henry said. “We were surprised by what we learned in the report. We did take steps after the 2017 Apple Watch incident. We took a number of steps to ensure that we didn’t have a problem going forward. So, again, I think it makes a lot of sense at this point to wait until the report comes out to be able to address any of these issues.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred concluded that the Astros had a serious culture problem that went beyond the sign-stealing scandal.
The Red Sox seemed quite sure that they were different.
Over and over they talked about how much confidence they have in their current coaching staff and everybody in their organization.
By doing that, they in essence were able to pin most of the blame on Cora, just as the Astros and MLB were able to do in the nine-page report released on Monday.
“Alex by his own admission, and we agreed, played a central role to what went on in Houston,” Werner said. “We all agreed it was wrong. And we have a responsibility to have a standard here where that sort of behavior is not acceptable.”
Bloom went as far as to say he would consider all his current coaches to be the next manager of the Red Sox, despite the fact that somebody on the current staff could still be implicated in MLB’s investigation into the 2018 squad.
“I fully expect we’re going to consider internal options as well,” Bloom said. “We have a lot of regard for our coaches. It’s an impressive group. No reason to think none of them would deserve consideration for this.”
Bloom continued, “I don’t like to think of any of the staff as ‘his guys,’” Bloom said. “They’re members of the Red Sox family.”
While the Sox will have a lot of explaining to do when MLB releases the findings of its current investigation, the club wouldn’t say if they were conducting their own investigation to get to the bottom of what happened in Boston in 2018.