Yankees: Boston’s Opening Day Alex Cora ovation shows they win again


On Friday afternoon, Alex Cora got a standing ovation for returning to scene of the crime.

Well, not the crime crime. The scene of the crime everyone implicitly agrees was also committed following the scandal that rocked MLB, or at the very least the crime of his re-hire after everyone in the Boston Red Sox front office agreed that “time served” of one year was very much enough for the rest of the world to forget what happened.

Now, the sole victory Yankees fans gained in the aftermath of the Astros cheating scandal has officially been undone, as Cora’s time away from Fenway Park concluded on Opening Day with a thunderous ovation that shook the old ballpark’s rafters.

At least AJ Hinch had to hook on with a rebuilding Detroit team to get his unearned second chance.

And at least Hinch supposedly wasn’t the mastermind behind the whole operation!

Much like in the aftermath of every Bill Belichick scandal, all MLB’s long arm of the law really did was embolden the Boston fan base more, and further encourage the bending of the rules, so long as one is charismatic and publicly remorseful.

Boston got Alex Cora back and Yankees fans should be furious.

We’re not bitter. We’re just extremely bitter about how incredibly easy this was.

More than anything, though, Yankees fans should be angry that their team is seemingly the only one in baseball that remains unable to make “us against the world” work.

After the Houston Astros cheated the baseball world out of a fair playing field in 2017 (and 2018 and 2019?), they lost their manager, only to hire the beloved Dusty Baker and reframe the narrative for 2020 around them being disrespected. It worked, and they came one game shy of a 3-0 series comeback in the ALCS.

After the Red Sox were caught employing hot Astros property, they went rudderless for 2020, collapsing to last place, only to captain a redemption narrative this year by hiring the same man they jettisoned. If the Opening Day ovation was any indication, the sole reason any Bostonian believes in this team is the undying faith the organization showed to the man in the dugout.

The Yankees? They’ve tried to claim to be all substance and no talk these past few years. They’ve tried to embrace being the villain while the rest of baseball subverts the rules into actual villainy. It hasn’t worked. Each time, they’ve come up far short at the first sign of trouble, always punched in the mouth by the team that didn’t care about outside perception.

“Just give me a chance.”

For the record, that’s a second chance, with the suspicion of it being a third chance (anyone really know what went on behind closed video room doors in 2018?). And not just a second chance to be gainfully employed, of course, but the second (or third!) chance to hold an extremely coveted leadership position.

A chance Carlos Beltran did not get and will likely never get, by the way, because he didn’t reside in Boston, where the Red Sox organization made a conscious bet on the world allowing their skirting of the rules (or at least a prominent association with a famous rule-skirter) to skate on by.

They were right, and now their fans get to embrace an Astros-like “us against the world” rallying cry for a crime they won’t even admit they committed.

Boston wins again, and we’re now on Year 4 of waiting for the Yankees to somehow get vengeance on the entire Astros cabal.

Perhaps we should stop waiting. In four seasons, the Yankees’ failure to get over the hump, combined with the success of the Red Sox and Astros with very few consequences, makes a far better argument for cheating than for doing things by the book.

You win, nothing changes, and you get to open the door wide again for accused cheaters to thunderous applause when the time comes.