Cora remorseful, Red Sox begin search for new manager

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Boston Red Sox baseball team owner John Henry listens during a news conference at Fenway Park, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Boston. The Boston Red Sox have parted ways with manager Alex Cora, with the move coming one day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred named him as a ringleader with Houston in the sport's sign-stealing scandal. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON, MA – The Boston Red Sox need to find a new manager, and it sounds like they haven't gotten over their old one.

Heaping praise on Alex Cora a day after showing him the door, Red Sox owner John Henry said on Wednesday the team was going to miss “just about everything” about the man who led Boston to the 2018 World Series title only to be torpedoed in a cheating scandal.

“It was a sad day because we all have such respect for Alex,” said chairman Tom Werner, who was one of several Red Sox officials keeping in touch with the deposed manager since his departure. “He admitted that what he did was wrong, but that doesn't mitigate, in our opinion, the extraordinary talent that he has. And we continue to be very fond of Alex.”

A player on Boston's 2007 World Series-winning team who led the club to another title in his first year as manager, Cora was ousted on Tuesday, a day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred identified him as the ringleader in a sign-stealing scheme when he was the bench coach for the 2017 Astros.

Major League Baseball is also looking into whether Cora installed a similar system in Boston after arriving the following year. No conclusions have been reached, and there is no timetable; the Astros investigation took two months.

“We would ask that everyone to reserve judgment until MLB completes its investigation and determines whether rules were violated,” Henry said. “I can tell you that we are working with baseball to the fullest extent possible.”

The Red Sox insisted that Cora's departure was a mutual decision because he could not continue to lead the team effectively. Team president Sam Kennedy said he anticipated a day that Cora would return to baseball.

“While it was difficult personally for a lot of people, (and) professionally, it was ultimately an easy decision for the Red Sox and for Alex,” Kennedy said. “Alex is an incredibly talented manager and accomplished great things with us. He expressed remorse. He apologized yesterday to us for the embarrassment that this caused."