Back in Boston, Red Sox's Cora vows to be above reproach

Full Screen
1 / 3

In this still image from an online video news conference provided by the Boston Red Sox, manager Alex Cora speaks Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, at Fenway Park in Boston. Cora, who led the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series title, was rehired as manager less than a year after the team let him go because of his role in the Houston Astros' cheating scandal. (Boston Red Sox via AP)

BOSTON – Alex Cora wants to make one thing clear — he deserved to have his dream job as manager of the Boston Red Sox taken away earlier this year.

He also is eager to prove he is worthy of his second chance to direct the team he led to a World Series title in 2018.

Cora was introduced as the new Red Sox manager on Tuesday, just 10 days after his one-season suspension for his role in the Astros' sign-stealing scheme during their 2017 championship run came to an end.

Cora was Houston’s bench coach prior to being hired by the Red Sox in November 2017, and promptly led Boston to the 2018 championship after a franchise-record 108 regular-season wins. Now he’s back armed with the task of rebuilding both his reputation and a team whose roster looks totally different from the one he previously oversaw.

“It’s been a tough year,” Cora said Tuesday. “I was spending time at home for all the wrong reasons. For that I want to apologize. I deserved what happened this year. It’s something that I’m not proud of. We went through the whole process,,,and at the end I got my penalty and I served it.

“I put this organization in a tough spot. And for that, I’m sorry.”

Even at the time of Cora’s departure from the club in January, Red Sox owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, as well as team president Sam Kennedy, didn’t hide their affinity for Cora while acknowledging it was the right decision to part ways with him.

Still, after manager Ron Roenicke was let go following a last-place finish in the AL East this past season, Kennedy said the team made it clear to new baseball operations chief Chaim Bloom that the process and decision for hiring their next skipper was in his hands.