Alex Cora is back. Here's why the Red Sox reunion will — or won't — work

12:15 PM ET

Nine months after the Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora parted ways following revelations about his involvement in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, the two sides are back together.

A last-place finish in a season shortened by COVID-19 meant Ron Roenicke’s run as skipper wouldn’t continue into 2021. On Friday, Boston rehired Cora after his previous 27-month stint ended abruptly when he was implicated in Major League Baseball’s investigation. Cora had served as Houston’s bench coach in 2017.

The hire marks the end of a year of speculation about the team’s manager position, mostly centered around whether or not Cora would make a return to the team following his season-long suspension. Cora won a World Series title with the Red Sox in 2018 and became one of the most popular figures in Boston.

Although his time away from the team was brief, some things have changed. Here’s why the reunion will work, and why it might not.

Why it will work

He is popular with the players

Upon Cora’s dismissal in January, Red Sox players showed an outpouring of support. Among them, All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts — a clubhouse leader and one of the longest-tenured

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