The Boston Red Sox parted ways with Alex Cora Tuesday, after an MLB investigation into his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal during the team’s 2017 World Series-winning season, according to reports.
Cora met Tuesday with Red Sox management.
“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,” the team said in a statement attributed to owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, CEO Sam Kennedy and Cora.
Henry, Werner and Kennedy added: “This is a sad day for us. 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 said in the statement that he and Red Sox management had agreed “parting ways was the best thing” for the future of the team, which begins spring training in less than a month.
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“I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward,” Cora said. “It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston.”
Cora added: “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.”
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MLB had also been investigating allegations that the Red Sox had stolen signs en route to their 2018 World Series championship.
Boston went 84-78 last season, a year after winning a franchise-record 108 times.
Cora was the bench coach for the Astros when they won the 2017 World Series and led Boston to the title the following year in his first season as manager.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had implicated Cora in the sport’s sign-stealing scandal on Monday.
Manfred’s nine-page report mentioned Cora 11 times, saying he was among the men who “originated and executed” aspects of the cheating scheme, in which the team used a center field camera to decode catchers’ signals to pitchers and banged on a trash can with a bat or massage gun near the dugout to let hitters know which pitch was coming.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired on Monday — just an hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season for their role in the cheating scheme.
Hinch apologized in a statement Monday for failing to do more to stop the sign-stealing scheme that took place under his watch during the 2017 season.
Cora announced back in May he was skipping Trump’s White House ceremony to celebrate the 2018 World Series team, citing the recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico.
“Although the government of the United States has helped, there is still a long way to go, that is OUR reality. I have continually used my voice so that we Puerto Ricans are not forgotten and my absence is not different. Therefore, at this moment, I do not feel comfortable celebrating in the White House,” he said in a translated statement by CBS Sports.
Trump tweeted a response after the decision by Cora saying, “Puerto Rico should be very happy and the Dems should stop blocking much-needed Disaster Relief!”
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Luhnow denied any knowledge of the scandal and vowed that he was “not a cheater.” He apologized for the “shame and embarrassment” that the controversy caused the organization. But he defended his integrity as the fallout from MLB’s punishment continued.
Fox News’ David Aaro and the Associated Press contributed to this report.