Alex Cora is back in Boston to manage the Red Sox after a year-long suspension that saw him get booted from the same position.
While Cora was out of baseball for just 10 months, he didn’t see his return to managing any team – let alone the Red Sox – as likely, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. Family members of Cora and Cora’s agent, Melvin Roman, told Speier that Cora wasn’t thinking of a return until maybe after the 2021 or 2022 season because Cora didn’t want to manage any team.
Cora’s feelings on returning changed on Sept. 27, when the Red Sox fired interim manager Ron Roenicke. Cora wanted to manage the Red Sox again.
“We ended up always thinking that the Boston Red Sox would be the No. 1 priority if that came open at some time,” said Roman. “If the Boston job went away then he was open to managing, not anyone, but a club with a good chance to win … [But] it became available.”
After the Red Sox interviewed eight candidates, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran flew down to Puerto Rico on Oct. 30, three days after Cora’s suspension ended, to interview the former Red Sox manager. The interview was conducted in an airplane hangar, with Bloom leading the conversation that Cora called “intense” and “genuine,” Speier reported.
A decision wasn’t made then as O’Halloran told Speier that he and Bloom needed time to process the interview.
“It was hard, but I think he was kind of relieved, like, ‘I did my best and now the ball is in their court. If they select me, I’ll be very, very happy, and if not, prepare for the next adventure,’” Roman told Speier of the conversation he had with his client on the interview.
Bloom and O’Halloran made follow-up calls to Cora in the following week and Bloom made the final call in hiring Cora, according to Speier.
“Alex needs no introduction here,” Bloom told reporters Tuesday at his reintroduction press conference. “We all know him as a brilliant baseball mind who can lead, and who can inspire, as well as anyone in the game. He’s shown he can get the best out of players, and we’re looking forward to a really bright future with him at the helm.”
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