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Red Sox, manager Alex Cora part ways due to his role in Astros sign stealing operation

Red Sox manager Alex Cora has agreed to step down after being outed as the mastermind of the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing operation.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (20) looks on from the bench during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora has been fired in the aftermath of a MLB investigation that identified him as the mastermind of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing operation in 2017. The Red Sox and Cora describe it as a mutual parting.

Cora was the team’s bench coach when it won the series that year before being hired to manage Boston. But it became clear he wouldn’t be at his post for long once MLB punished dealt the Astros some severe punishments.

The league suspended Houston manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year on Monday. That was promptly followed by the Astros firing both. The team was also stripped of all first and second-round picks in 2020 and ‘21 and fined $5 million. No players were punished, but it was only a matter of time before Cora felt the repercussions of his actions — especially since the Astros won the World Series in 2017 and ‘18.

The Red Sox won the World Series in 2018 during Cora’s first season at the helm. But they fell short of the postseason the following year. Cora’s three-year managerial contract was extended last November and gave him the option to stay with the team through 2021, but now Boston will have to seek out new leadership.