(Reuters) – The Boston Red Sox said on Tuesday they were parting ways with manager Alex Cora in the wake of a sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros, where Cora had been the bench coach, during their World Series-winning 2017 season.
The Astros on Monday said they were firing both manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow for their roles in the scandal after Major League Baseball imposed one-year bans on each.
In its judgment on Monday, the league said Cora had arranged for the installation of a monitor showing centerfield camera shots, giving players the ability to decipher the signs and alert batters.
The Red Sox said it would not be possible for Cora to remain with the team given the league’s findings.
“This is a sad day for us,” Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner and CEO Sam Kennedy said in a statement.
“Alex is a special person and a beloved member of the Red Sox. We are grateful for his impact on our franchise.”
Cora said in a statement released by the team: “I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward.
“My two years as manager were the best years of my life.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had said on Monday that Cora “implicitly condoned” the Astros players’ conduct.
He said the MLB would withhold any disciplinary action against him until the completion of a separate investigation of allegations the Red Sox engaged in sign-stealing in 2018, when they won the World Series in Cora’s first year as manager.
Along with the suspensions of Hinch and Luhnow MLB also fined the Astros $5 million and took away the club’s first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
(Reporting By Amy Tennery, Steve Keating; Editing by Peter Rutherford)