With Alex Cora at the center of MLB's rapidly-developing sign-stealing scandal, the Boston Red Sox opted to part ways with their manager on Tuesday.
It wasn't an easy decision for Red Sox ownership to make. In fact, John Henry and Co. weren't going to cut bait with Cora until a nightmare scenario was brought to their attention.
NBC Sports Boston's own Gary Tanguay reported Thursday on Early Edition that Henry planned on keeping Cora as manager until the possibility that the organization's 2018 World Series title might get vacated.
Tanguay explained in more detail:
John Henry had every intention to keep Alex Cora as the Red Sox manager, despite Cora's impending suspension from Major League Baseball. When the possibility arose that the Red Sox could be stripped of their 2018 World Series title, the owner threw him out of the boat. The owner gave up his manager. He was the sacrificial lamb. The Red Sox and the Astros are nervous they could lose their championships. Lot of anxiety at Fenway Park, I was told.
The Red Sox said in their official statement that Cora and the team "mutually agreed" to part ways.
Cora played a major role in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal during his time as their bench coach in 2017. His dismissal from the Red Sox came on the heels of the Astros firing manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
MLB's investigation into the 2018 Red Sox' alleged sign-stealing is ongoing.