Alex Cora's future could not be more uncertain. But the former Boston Red Sox manager offered some sense of where his mind is in baseball exile.
Cora, who is suspended for the 2020 season due to his role in the 2017 Houston Astros' sign-stealing investigation, told The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy he's interested in being a major-league manager again while acknowledging the unknowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"If this was a regular time and they were playing games, I would say yes," Cora told Shaughnessy. "I would love to be back in 2021 in some capacity. I love managing at the big league level. But right now, I'm still kind of like putting my game plan together.
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Part of that game plan includes Cora's family: The Puerto Rico native is unsure of where his daughter -- who's entering her senior year of high school -- will attend college amid the pandemic and where the family will be at this time next year.
"My daughter's education is very important to me. We had talked about her going to college in the States, but now we don't know what is going to happen."
The obvious follow-up is whether Cora would consider returning to the Red Sox, as replacement manager Ron Roenicke is on a one-year contract for a 2020 season that may not even happen.
"They have a good group over there,'' Cora said when posed that question. "Hopefully Ron gets a chance to manage and he's going to do a good job. Me talking about being there obviously right now is not even part of the equation.
"Obviously I'm suspended. We've decided we have to move on, and as of now, I don't want to ... they have their hands full with the season there."
That's a diplomatic answer, but Cora clearly shares the respect the franchise has for him after he guided the team to the 2018 World Series title, even in light of Major League Baseball's own investigation into that team.
"They have a good group of guys, and [chief baseball officer] Chaim [Bloom] is going to do a good job," Cora said. "I love the city, I love the franchise, they gave me a shot. We have a great relationship, but that doesn't mean we are going to go that route. I need to respect that."
Cora is a player and fan favorite in Boston, but it sounds like we may not know whether he'll even return to baseball, much less the Red Sox, for some time.
Alex Cora opens up about future, whether he'd return to Red Sox in 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston