There is a familiar face making his return to Fenway Park for the 2021 MLB season, as the Boston Red Sox have decided to bring back Alex Cora to the franchise.

At the turn of 2020, the manager was fired by the organization because of his involvement in the two sign-stealing scandals that rocked the MLB. He was suspended by the league for the entire 2020 season following an investigation into his role during the scandal in Boston and the one that happened during his time as a bench coach of the Houston Astros.

Naturally, following the verdict, the Red Sox decided to fire their manager and go a different direction. However, 11 months or so later, it seems the organization have decided to revisit the past in the hope that Cora can return them to some of their glory days.

Bringing Cora looks to make sense

Although there might have been some shock or surprise that the Red Sox would look to return to Cora following the unceremonious sacking, it appears to make a lot of sense on paper.

The Puerto Rican coach was hugely successful during his first two seasons with the franchise as he managed to record a 203-132 overall record. In addition, his 2018 campaign in charge of the team saw the Boston Red Sox record their best season in franchise history as they managed to achieve a 108-regular win season and beat two other 100+ winning sides in the postseason as they won their ninth World Series title. With the manager back in the team, it might be a good idea to check out Bookies Reviews to find one of the best bookmakers available to place a bet on them winning their tenth title.

Sep 22, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (right) talks with Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (left) prior to their game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 campaign was a disaster without Cora in the box for the franchise. Ron Roenicke took charge – who was Cora’s bench coach in Boston – and led the Boston Red Sox through their 60-game season. They ultimately finished with a record worse than .500 as they recorded a 24-36 total.

Roenicke was then fired, which led to the Red Sox looking for their third manager in four off-seasons. Indeed, the fault can not all be blamed on Roenicke as he did not have the talent and the weapons that Cora had before him, however the Fenway Sports Group owners had enough and decided change was needed.

Cora provides a number of different advantages for the Boston Red Sox

With Cora back at the helm, things could look to turn around for the organization as there are a number of different factors that can help the Red Sox return to significance in the MLB.

Perhaps one of the most important things that a coach can have is the rapport that has been built with his players. Cora was hugely popular with many already in the dressing room and that popularity could see his men perform for him once again. In addition, he was popular with the fan base and having them on the team’s side is always a bonus and not generally a given right.

Arguably for the owners, the Puerto Rican could help to restore the status that the Boston Red Sox once had within the MLB. The franchise were poor in the 2020 season and became rather irrelevant in the world of baseball for that season, despite having been the World Series Champions just two years prior.

Negativity likely to surround the franchise, though

Of course, there could be some negativity towards the franchise and the re-hiring of Cora, although whether they will prove to go against any potential success he may have remains to be seen.

The media spotlight might be a little negative on the Red Sox as they have decided to bring back a proven cheater, whilst they had only fired him from his role around a year or so ago.

However, none of that should have any impact on what he does on the field with his team and – despite having the proven cheater label – he also has a label of being a proven winner.

If the Red Sox can get the same individual they had when he was in charge of the organization in the 2018 and 2019 MLB seasons, then they could be counting their blessings that 2020 was just a series of unfortunate events and a blip in their franchise history – just as the year was much the same for the whole world.