It is not an overwhelming popular choice, but the Red Sox decided to give Alex Cora a second chance. He has proven he can win and develop young players, something Boston was looking for in a manager. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

After the Boston Red Sox rehired Alex Cora as manager, I scrolled through Twitter and found a television station (WAVY) from Norfolk, Virginia, weighing in:

“The Red Sox are rehiring admitted cheater Alex Cora, the mastermind behind the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.”

There is sure to be more name-calling to come. By welcoming Cora back, after he was fired last January because of his rule-breaking role in Houston when he was a coach there in 2017, the Red Sox knew there would be criticism and snarky headlines.

The Red Sox didn’t care.

Well done, Red Sox.

As we pointed out in this space a month ago, Cora is the right choice to manage Boston.

The positives are already well-known, including the ability to succeed in this fish-bowl, pressure-cooker of the job.

Cora is also a master of communicating with his players. They appear to all have his respect. Cora may be a players’ manager – though not the stereotype where players run the show – but he also someone who knows when to push the right buttons. He related well with veterans and mentored younger players.

“He’s like a father figure to me, especially in baseball,” Rafael Devers said last January after Cora was fired. “I’m really sad.”

Xander Bogaerts also commented after the firing, saying Cora is “someone we all enjoy playing for … someone we’ll definitely miss a lot, especially me. We had a great relationship.”

Both Devers and Bogaerts shined under Cora. In 2018, when Devers was in his first full season, Cora was a steadying influence. Devers broke out the next year (.919 OPS). Bogaerts’ best seasons have been under Cora (.883 and .939 OPS).

Cora can obviously manage. But is he damaged goods? And, just as importantly, did Boston’s man in charge of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, have someone else in mind for the job?

The finalists were reportedly Cora and Sam Fuld, a former player for Tampa Bay when Bloom was there. Fuld, a New Hampshire native, is a bright guy and will eventually manage somewhere, but Bloom became convinced that Cora and his proven skill set would work again in Boston.

“The way he leads, inspires, and connects with everyone around him is almost unmatched, and he has incredible baseball acumen and feel for the game,” Bloom said in a press release.

Bloom’s decision-making process, presumably, would revolve around Cora’s rule-breaking. Was it a one-time screw-up, for which Cora has owned up to his role and apologized, or a sign of a character flaw that could surface again? Bloom said the process involved multiple interviews.

“Our conversations were lengthy, intense, and emotional. Alex knows what he did was wrong, and he regrets it. My belief is that every candidate should be considered in full: strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and failures.

“That is what I did with Alex in making this choice.”

The right choice, but one that will be considered controversial. Respected Washington Post columnist Dave Sheinin wrote that the rehiring of Cora was not a surprise, but “it doesn’t look great.”

Fortunately, the Red Sox did not worry about how it will be perceived – no matter how many ugly social-media references there are – but gave a man another chance to do the job he’s proven he can do well.

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