Redemption will be a theme for the 2021 season for Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox.
After serving a year-long suspension for his role in the Houston Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scandal, Cora has been given a second chance. The 2018 World Series champion was signed to a two-year deal to return as Red Sox manager beginning next season.
As he prepares for his next chapter, Cora knows the scandal will be difficult to put behind him. He opened up about the ramifications and what he'll have to do to make things right.
"It was a long process. The department of investigation, they did everything possible to get to the bottom of this and you have to respect that," Cora told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. "I paid the price and I'm embarrassed. It's something that is going to hang with me for the rest of my life. The only thing I can do is to find a way to use it as a positive, especially in the house with my daughter, and the kids will grow and we have to talk about that.
"A lot of people used to look up to me here in Puerto Rico and in the States, and I need to redeem myself in that aspect and send a message that what we did was wrong and there's ways to do it the right way."
Ex-Astros manager A.J. Hinch also served a suspension in 2020, though he didn't return to Houston for 2021. Instead, he joined the Detroit Tigers on a three-year contract.
It'll be a rocky road to redemption for both Cora and Hinch, but they served their time. Though Cora's wrongdoings have casted a permanent cloud over his career, they'll be much easier to forget if he can spark a bounceback season for Boston.