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Red Sox bringing Alex Cora back as manager

Cora led the Sox to the 2018 World Series title before he was suspended through the 2020 postseason for his previous conduct as bench coach with the Houston Astros.
Credit: Mitch Stringer, USA TODAY Sports
Red Sox manager Alex Cora is a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico.

BOSTON, Massachusetts — The Boston Red Sox are bringing Alex Cora back as manager.

The Red Sox shared a statement from Cora on Twitter Friday evening. Cora said he's grateful for the opportunity to manage the team once again and said "I could not be more excited to help the Red Sox achieve our ultimate goal of winning in October."

Cora was 192-132 in two seasons as Boston's manager (2018 and 2019).

The 45-year-old Puerto Rico native led the Sox to the 2018 World Series championship before he was suspended through the 2020 postseason for his previous conduct as bench coach with the Houston Astros, whom MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred determined used video to steal catchers' signs during their run to the 2017 World Series title and again during the 2018 season. 

In January, it was announced that Red Sox ownership and Cora “mutually agreed to part ways,” with the Red Sox tweeting a statement saying that it would not be possible for Cora to lead the club going forward. However, both sides appear to have put the past behind them.

In his statement Friday, Cora said "I have had time to reflect and evaluate many things, and I recognize how fortunate I am to lead this team once again."

Cora served as the bench coach for the Houston Astros' 2017 championship squad, which has come under severe scrutiny after revelations that the team used electronics to steal signs from opposing catchers. The MLB also determined Red Sox replay system operator J.T. Watkins broke rules in 2018 by using in-game video to revise sign sequences provided to players. Watkins was suspended without pay through this year's postseason and prohibited from serving as the replay room operator through 2021. 

Commissioner Rob Manfred hit the Astros with one-season suspensions for general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. The Astros were also fined $5 million and forced to give up their first- and second-round draft picks in the next two seasons.

Not long after, team owner Jim Crane declared that Luhnow and Hinch, a tandem that turned Houston into a perennial powerhouse, had both been fired.

Hinch was hired in October as manager of the Detroit Tigers.