Alex Cora had quite the return to the Boston Red Sox.
A year after he and the team agreed to mutually part ways for his role in the 2017 Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, the Red Sox re-hired Cora after his one-year suspension was lifted. He was welcomed back with open arms by the players and front office, but what he did this season was pretty remarkable.
Cora helped lead the Red Sox to a 92-70 record, good for an American League Wild Card spot after they were slated to finish fourth in the division and not even make the postseason. Boston defeated the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game before stunning the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series.
The Red Sox’s season came to a bitter end Friday night in a 5-0 loss to the Astros in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series. But if you look at all the team has overcome — injuries, being without Chris Sale most of the season, pitching questions, a lackluster trade deadline and COVID-19 outbreak — it’s no surprise Cora feels pretty optimistic despite the loss.
“I’m good. I’m really good, to be honest with you. Obviously, disappointed and sad that we didn’t pull this off, but I’ve been good for a while,” Cora told reporters after the game, as transcribed by ASAP Sports. “There were a lot of good things that happened, not only professionally, but personally that I was able to see a lot of people enjoy baseball again. And for them to be able to do that, that’s what it’s all about. My boys, they’re four now. The first time here in ’17, they were three months old when we won the World Series, and then they were here the next year, and they were running around, and they were one. And tonight they were in the stands just watching baseball, and to see them do that, it means a lot to me, but personally, it’s been great. It’s been amazing.”
Now Cora and the rest of the Red Sox shift their focus to the offseason. They’ll have their hands full in making decisions for the impending free agents and players who have team options on their deals.