Alex Cora and A.J. Hinch may get a second chance after all. Detroit Tigers general manager Al Aliva said both Cora and Hinch will be considered for the Tigers’ managerial vacancy, according to MLive’s Evan Woodbery.
Both Cora and Hinch are currently suspended as a result of their roles in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. Hinch — who managed the 2017 Astros — was suspended for a year as a result of his role in the scandal. The Astros fired Hinch shortly after MLB issued the suspension. Cora served as Hinch’s bench coach that season before joining the Boston Red Sox for the 2018 season. The 2018 Red Sox were also involved in a cheating scandal.
The Tigers are in need of a new manager after Ron Gardenhire abruptly retired near the end of the 2020 regular season. Gardenhire decided to step away from the game for health reasons.
Will Alex Cora or A.J. Hinch manage again?
While Avila said both Cora and Hinch were on the Tigers’ list, Avila did not commit to interviewing either man. It’s possible that will happen eventually, though Avila could have thrown out those names to gauge the reaction from fans and others around the game. If there’s enough outrage over Cora or Hinch returning, perhaps Avila will reconsider his decision.
Still, the fact that Avila is thinking about Cora and Hinch may provide some insight into how teams view both men. There’s no denying Cora and Hinch were successful managers. Both won World Series championships. While those titles may be tainted by cheating scandals, both Cora and Hinch received high marks for how they managed those teams. It’s impossible to know exactly how much to separate Cora and Hinch’s tactics from the cheating scandals, but the Tigers seem willing to find out.
Should the Tigers go through with interviews, that could influence other teams with managerial vacancies to also consider Cora and Hinch. Both Cora and Hinch are suspended through the 2020 postseason, and would not be eligible to return to MLB until after the World Series.
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