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Red Sox firing Alex Cora was Boston’s best and only option

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Baseball has been embedded in the soul of Alex Cora since he was a child, falling asleep on the floor of the press box of Yldefonso Sola Morales Stadium in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where his dad covered winter ball as a newspaper columnist and served as a scout for the Rangers and Padres. Suddenly, at the age of 44, Alex Cora is not just the former manager of the Red Sox, he also is about to be disowned by the game he loves.

All because the opportunity to cheat was too available, too enticing.

In releasing a statement as part of the “mutual parting”–code for getting in front of his suspension, if not likely firing–Cora let the emotions seep into his words. He called the two years managing the Red Sox “the best years of my life.” And in saying goodbye to Boston, he said, “There is nothing like it in all of baseball, and I will miss it dearly.”

It’s worse than that. He will miss baseball, that part of his soul that always has nourished him. You have to remember commissioner Rob Manfred did not just suspend Hinch for a season. He also barred Hinch during that period from setting foot in any spring training, Major League or minor league facility and from traveling for the club, which would be a ban even against scouting amateur talent. That’s the definition of persona non grata in baseball.

Cora is looking at the same fate, only longer. As a player, broadcaster, coach and manager, Cora has been around professional ballparks for a quarter of a century, his entire adult life.

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