Alex Cora recently told pundits he would be “here” next year. Cora did not define “here, “leaving the Fenway Faithful befuddled.
“Here” is Where Red Sox Manager Cora Will be Next Season
Alex Cora’s name had been thrown into the mix of candidates for the Chief Baseball Officer role after Chaim Bloom’s firing. Cora recently stated he would be back “here” next season. Was Cora saying he would be back “here,” as in Boston next season and not necessarily with the Red Sox organization, maybe taking a year off? Was Cora saying “here,” as in he would still be the manager next season? Or was Cora saying “here” in some capacity with the Red Sox that has not been determined? For Red Sox fans, the ambiguity of Cora’s response is causing a lot of anxiety-provoking “what if” scenarios.
Scenario 1: Cora is Staying in Boston…But Not in the Red Sox Organization
Cora’s answer does not necessarily mean he will quit or be fired. Remember, he was “fired” for his involvement in the Houston Astros 2017 sign-stealing scandal. The impact was Ron Roenicke leading the team to an AL East cellar-dwelling during the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season. Cora was “rehired” the following season. Essentially, Cora took a year’s sabbatical, and if something is done once, why could it not be done again? Sox fans feel that Jason Varitek is ready to be an MLB manager. Could Varitek take over on an interim basis for one season, with the stipulation regardless of Varitek’s performance, Cora returns the following season? In such a scenario, if Varitek is successful, he will move on to another organization and become their manager in 2025. Again, not likely but a possibility.
Scenario 2: Cora is staying on as Red Sox Manager
If Cora’s statement meant back as manager, then his ambiguous answer was unnecessarily vague. That would mean the search for a new Chief Baseball Officer remains. A laundry list of candidates for the position is being considered from around Major League Baseball and within the organization. This would be the simplest hypothetical scenario of the three proposed to solve.
Scenario 3: Cora Becomes Chief Baseball Officer
Despite saying earlier this season that he likes being around the “guys” each day, Cora becomes Chief Baseball Officer. Money can be a motivating factor in any decision. Additionally, many New Englanders feel Jason Varitek is ready to become a big-league manager. If Cora becomes Chief Baseball Officer, then Varitek will likely become the Red Sox manager permanently.
While unlikely, the notion that Cora takes what constitutes a second sabbatical could be possible while Varitek serves as interim manager. Regardless of how the Sox perform, Cora would return in 2025. As much as he is loved and revered (pun intended) in Boston, Varitek will become manager for another MLB organization if he proves successful in his interim capacity. Maybe Cora meant he will still be the manager come next season. If that is what he meant by “here,” the search for a new Chief Baseball Officer is still on for the Sox. Finally, if “here” told within the organization, he would likely become Chief Baseball Officer, with Varitek permanently becoming the team’s new manager. Fans will have to wait and see what Cora’s definition of “here” actually means.
Main Photo Credits: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports