Former Red Sox manager and Astros bench coach Alex Cora told ESPN that while he deserved punishment for his role in Houston's sign-stealing scheme in 2017, he rejects the idea that he was the "sole mastermind" behind it.
"There has been a narrative out there of what happened. Ever since mid-November until the commissioner announced the results of the Red Sox investigation, I have read many things that are true and many others that are not," Cora told ESPN's Marly Rivera. "Out of this whole process, if there is one thing that I completely reject and disagree with is people within the Astros' organization singling me out, particularly [former general manager] Jeff Luhnow, as if I were the sole mastermind. The commissioner's report sort of explained, in its own way, what happened. But the [Astros players] have spoken up and refuted any allegations that I was solely responsible."
Cora added: "If there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that it was not a two-man show. We all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we were all responsible."
Cora, who managed the 2018 Red Sox that won 108 games and the World Series, was suspended after he was implicated in MLB's investigation into the Astros' sign-stealing operation. He subsequently parted ways with Boston, citing a desire not to be a distraction.
As part of MLB's findings in its later investigation into the 2018 Red Sox, the league deemed that Cora should remain suspended through the 2020 postseason, but only for his conduct with Houston.
During its investigation into the Astros, MLB found Houston stole signs electronically with the use of an outfield camera during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Cora, who served as Houston's bench coach in 2017, was one of the few people named in the report.
"I deserve my suspension and I'm paying the price for my actions," he told ESPN. "And I am not proud of what happened. We made a mistake as a group, the entire [Astros] team. What happened was something that, if you ask anyone involved, no one is proud of it. We're all at fault. Everybody. We're all responsible. Everyone who was part of the team from around mid-May until the end of the season, we are all responsible."