If the Red Sox Get Alex Cora and Mookie Betts Back in 2021 Every MLB Team Should Riot

Former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora
Former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Give Yankees fans some space during this difficult time.

The Red Sox were given a slap on the wrist for the sign-stealing that aided their 2018 World Series title run. The relatively lenient penalty ridded Boston of a second-round pick in the upcoming MLB Draft, formally suspended former manager Alex Cora for the rest of the 2020 season and banned a replay operative through 2021. It's certainly not enough to satisfy the masses, and in similar fashion as the Astros' punishment for cheating, it's bound to bring about more questions than answers.

For one, it opens up the possibility of Cora returning to Boston in 2021, as he was only suspended for his actions as a member of the Astros' staff in 2017 before he was even hired as Red Sox manager.

In response to such buzz, the Red Sox have removed the interim tag from Ron Roenicke, who is now simply Boston's manager. However, what does this mean in the grand scheme of things?

Should the Red Sox not perform up to standards in whatever version of a 2020 season that we receive, they'll have every excuse to move on from Roenicke. Bringing back Cora would be a move universally praised by a fanbase that now -- fair or not -- has ammo to suggest that they didn't do too much wrong with him in charge in 2018 and '19.

By clearing Cora's name (post-2020), Manfred has provided a way back for a man who's now been involved in not one, but two cheating scandals, regardless of what the commissioner's report states.

Where's the uproar we've seen in reaction to the Astros lack of remorse? It's different. This is Boston, and they get a free pass for reasons none of us can quite understand.

Add in the real possibility that front office boss Chaim Bloom can reverse course and bring back Mookie Betts in free agency one year after trading him to LA -- in a season where he may never actually wear Dodger blue -- and this has all the makings of a farce.

It's fair to think the Red Sox punishment shouldn't have been as severe as the Astros and also realize that it's far too lenient. The two ideas aren't mutually exclusive.

Should two of the finest minds in the game in Cora and Betts return to Beantown, it just seems like an unfair advantage that was coordinated by higher powers from the start.

For the sake of the game, let there be some form of real justice here.