For months, speculation has held that Alex Cora was simply biding his time, serving out his suspension for his involvement with the 2017 Houston Astros, and just waiting for the all-clear to reclaim the job he held from 2018 until this past January.
That's a logical enough assumption, on the face of it. Cora earned a reputation as one of the game's best young managers when, in his first season in Boston's dugout, he led the Red Sox to a record-setting 108 regular season wins and a World Series win that fall.
Players loved playing for Cora and a handful -- from Rafael Devers to Xander Bogaerts to Eduardo Rodriguez -- made major strides under Cora. Ownership, too, reveres Cora for his personality, energy and leadership.
The announcement Sunday, then, that Ron Roenicke, Cora's former bench coach, won't return for 2021, naturally resulted in heightened expectations that an encore is in the making.
But is it?
While the move would undoubtedly be a popular one in both the clubhouse and the owner's suite, the calculus leaves out one important factor: chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.