Alex Cora wasted little time Tuesday addressing the elephant in the room.
The Boston Red Sox reintroduced Cora as their manager, roughly 10 months after the organization parted ways with the skipper who led them to a World Series title in 2018. Cora recently was reinstated by Major League Baseball, which suspended him for the 2020 season due to his role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
Cora tackled the issue head-on in his initial remarks at Fenway Park.
Here’s what he had to say:
First of all, I wanna thank my family. … It’s been a tough year. To spend time with you guys, it was amazing this year. But, as I’ve been saying all along, I was spending time at home for the wrong reasons. And for that, I want to apologize. What happened this year, it was something that I’m not proud of it, but we went through the whole process with the commissioner’s office, the department of investigations and, at the end, I got my penalty and I served it.
I want to apologize to the organization to put them in such a tough spot coming into the season. I never thought that that’s’ what was gonna happen. I never thought that I was gonna be in that situation but I was. Watching from afar, and like I told I told Chaim (Bloom) and I told everybody else, the whole group when we decided to part ways, ‘Sorry for what happened, sorry for what happened during the year.’ I think, as a leader, as a person that enjoys the game and loves to manage, I put this organization in a tough spot and for that I’m sorry.
To the baseball fans, I’m here. I was humbled by this whole situation. I learned a lot throughout the year. A lot of people were saying that, ‘OK, you spent time with your family.’ That was good, but, like I said before, it was great for them, it was great for me but I was there for the wrong reasons and I’m not proud of that.
I want to make sure everybody knows that this situation is part of who I am for the rest of my career. As a man, I have to deal with it. I don’t want people to make it seem like it’s a great comeback story. I don’t want that. I’m actually gonna use this bad experience to make people better, starting at home (with my family.)
… I know there’s a lot of people that I disappointed, and for that I’m sorry. And also, telling those people that, ‘Hey, I’m still Alex. I made a mistake. I still love the game, I still love what I do and I promise you that from now on I’m gonna use this experience the right way.’
I’m not proud of it, I’m not happy about it, but we have to move on. I’m happy to be back home. This is the place I really enjoy to work.
Whether Cora truly has learned from his past mistakes remains to be seen. For now, however, he’s saying all the right things.