By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez knows who he wants as the team’s manager in 2021: ex-Sox manager Alex Cora.
“I would love if Alex comes back,” the 30-year-old Vazquez said in a Facebook Live chat with Carlos Baerga (and friends). “I would love that. I think Alex brought so many positive things to the team. We need a leader to continue and Alex is a leader.”
(Shoutout to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo for the full translation.)
Given the hell the Red Sox went through in a wildly unforgettable 2020 season (60 games actually felt like too much), this take from Vazquez is hardly a shocking one. Vazquez and Cora are also both from Puerto Rico, too, which certainly only strengthened their relationship and bond with one another, as Vazquez touched on later in the interview.
“Alex listens and understands,” said Vazquez. “He knows so much about baseball. He’s like a father to all of us. He brought us together, the team, in 2018, having the year we had. I think he deserves another opportunity to return to a winning team as manager. I think he deserves that.”
Boston’s skipper for two seasons, Cora and the Red Sox ‘mutually’ parted ways in the middle of the league’s investigation into the alleged use of technology the Red Sox utilized to gain sign-stealing advantages during their run to the 2018 World Series. (The Red Sox were eventually punished with the loss of a second-round draft pick, and with video operator J.T. Watkins suspended for the 2020 season.) It also didn’t help that Cora was involved in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
The 45-year-old Cora was eventually punished on his own (though it’s worth noting that it was for his infractions during his time with the Astros, not the Red Sox), and hit with a suspension through the 2020 World Series.
Now, whether or not Vazquez gets his wish remains to be seen.
The Red Sox moved on from Ron Roenicke following the 2020 campaign, and also relieved bench coach Jerry Narron and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson of their duties for 2021. Sox front office head Chaim Bloom has been almost completely silent on the team’s manager search. (He wouldn’t definitively rule Cora in or out when asked earlier this offseason.)
A Cora return to Fenway could be just what the Sox need in a year of fan-led beatdowns after trading Mookie Betts, and fielding what may have been one of the worst Red Sox teams in franchise history.