That changed drastically over the past 10 months. The owners said that the decision to rehire Cora was made by Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox president of baseball operations, but Kennedy made it clear on Tuesday that it was also the choice favored by ownership.
“We are very pleased with the outcome, given how excited we are to have Alex back,” Kennedy said.
Bloom, who was hired by Boston one year ago, worked only a few months with Cora. He had interviewed several candidates to replace the interim manager Ron Roenicke but determined — after a lengthy interview process that Cora described as “intense” and “tough” — that the former manager was the right person to take back the reins.
“We all know him as a brilliant baseball mind who can lead and who can inspire as well as anybody in the game,” Bloom said of Cora. “He has shown he can get the best out of players, and we’re looking forward to a really bright future with him at the helm.”
Cora was originally hired by Boston after helping the Astros, through legal and illegal means, to the 2017 championship. The next year, Boston won the title. An investigation by M.L.B. this year determined that Cora did not bring the same illicit tactics to Boston, nor did he oversee anything on the scale of what happened in Houston.
On Tuesday, Cora was asked why he didn’t cheat again since it had worked the first time. Cora admitted that he was scared to try a similar system. He said there had been enough allegations of cheating (indeed, some Red Sox players were found to be using Apple Watches to illegally steal signs against the Yankees in 2017) to prompt him to proceed with caution.
During spring training in 2018, there were warnings by M.L.B. officials and, Cora said, from Red Sox executives, including the former general manager Dave Dombrowski, that cheating would not be tolerated.
“They walked me through it,” Cora said, adding that his reaction was “Wow, I better not even try to do something like that.”