(Reuters) – The Boston Red Sox have decided to re-hire manager Alex Cora, who in January mutually agreed to part ways with the team due to his involvement in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal, according to multiple media reports on Friday.
Cora, who led Boston to the 2018 World Series championship in his first year at the helm, served a season-long suspension in 2020 after MLB found him to be one of the instigators of the Astros’ sign stealing scheme during his time with that club.
The Red Sox did not immediately respond to a request for comment on reports published on Major League Baseball’s website https://www.mlb.com/news/alex-cora-red-sox-manager-returns, which cited an unnamed source, and by media including ESPN.
In MLB’s January report on its investigation into the Astros, Cora was mentioned several times and viewed as one of the members of the dugout who spearheaded the scheme during the team’s World Series championship run in 2017.
According to MLB, Cora, who was the Astros’ bench coach, arranged to install a monitor displaying the centerfield camera shots near the Houston dugout so players could figure out signs and signal to their batter what type of pitch was coming.
In a separate investigation, the Red Sox escaped with minor penalties for an illegal use of technology in 2018 that MLB called more limited than the Astros scandal. Cora was cleared and found to have been unaware of the matter.
Ron Roenicke took over as interim manager of the Red Sox in February but the team, who finished the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season last in the American League East division, said in September that he would not return next year.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)