Alex Cora Responds to Cheating Scandal After Red Sox Return: 'I Served My Penalty'

The Boston Red Sox parted ways with manager Alex Cora in January 2020 due to his role in the Houston Astros' 2017 cheating scandal. Following the 2020 season, the team brought Cora back into the fold, prompting questions from the media. The team manager has now responded and directly addressed his season away from Major League Baseball.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Cora apologized for his role in the Astros' cheating scandal. He admitted to playing a role in the cheating scandal while serving as a bench coach for the team. He also said that he deserved the punishment. Cora was not the sole person behind the cheating, but he accepted some of the blame while talking to reporters.

"I deserved what happened this year," Cora said on Tuesday. "It's something that I'm not proud of. We went through the whole process with the Commissioner's Office and the Dept. of Investigations. At the end, I got my penalty and I served it."

Cora told reporters that it was a tough year and that he was spending time at home for the "wrong reasons." Cora then apologized to the organization and said that he never thought he would put them in that situation. "As a leader, as a person that enjoys the game and loves to manage, I put this organization in a tough spot and I'm sorry," he said.

Cora continued with his press conference and apologized to the fans. He acknowledged that some people said he wasn't being punished due to having ample time to spend time with his family. He reiterated that being at home was not how he wanted to spend the season. Cora also strongly said that he does not want his return to the Red Sox to become a "comeback story" during the 2021 season.

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"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," Cora said. "I know there’s a lot of people that I disappointed and for that I’m sorry … I'm still Alex, I made a mistake. I'm not proud of it. I'm not happy about it. But, we have to move on."

A pro from 1998 until 2011, the 45-year-old Cora spent time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals. He won a World Series as a player with Boston in 2007. Following his retirement from MLB and a brief stint in the minors, Cora joined Houston as a bench coach in 2016 and helped the team win the controversial World Series. He then joined Boston as the manager following the 2017 season.