In the wake of MLB's published investigation into the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, the Red Sox announced Tuesday night that they fired manager Alex Cora.
On Monday, MLB concluded that Cora was deeply involved in the Astros' sign-stealing operation in 2017 that saw the team's manager, A.J. Hinch, and general manager, Jeff Luhnow, suspended for a year and subsequently fired.
"Today we met to discuss the Commissioner's report related to the Houston Astros. Given the findings and the Commissioner's ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways," the team said in a statement attributed to owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, CEO Sam Kennedy and Cora.
"I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward," Cora said. "My two years as a manager were the best years of my life.
Cora was the bench coach for the Astros in 2017 before being hired as the Red Sox' manager in 2018. Boston won the World Series in Cora's first year, but he reportedly oversaw an illicit sign-stealing operation conducted by his team that season.
When MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released his report on the Astros' activity, Manfred noted that Cora's role in Houston's operation was far more significant than Hinch's and Luhnow's ever were.
According to MLB's report, Cora was the person who called for the installation of a monitor adjacent to the Astros' dugout, which broadcast a feed directly from a centerfield camera. Cora and other "lower-level baseball operations employees," in conjunction with players, used that feed to determine the opposing team's signs based on the catcher's signals. The team banged a trash can to indicate if an off-speed pitch was coming, while no bang indicated a fastball was coming.
The Astros' scheme took place in 2017 and 2018, including during Houston's World Series run in 2017.
The Red Sox hired Cora as their manager in Oct. 2017. He played 14 years as an infielder in the major leagues—including four with Boston, from 2005-08—before retiring in 2011. Prior to joining the Astros, he did commentary work for ESPN.
MLB has not yet punished Cora for his role in the Astros' sign stealing operation.