I really enjoy the Ocean’s 11 movies. Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, orchestrates elaborate schemes to pull off daring and lucrative heists. There are heart stopping twists and turns, but in the original and every sequel after, Danny and his team of talented cohorts always walk away with a lucrative bounty.
It appears that there will be no Hollywood ending for former Red Sox Manager Alex Cora. He did his best Danny Ocean impression as he concocted elaborate plans to steal signs for not one but two MLB teams. He was pretty darn clever.
But in a plot twist it all came crashing down on him. Cora has been dismissed from his job and is about to receive a beating from Major League Baseball that would make Michael Corleone blush.
There will be those that defend the shameful actions of Cora. A few might even admire the caginess of this baseball bandit. After all no one before Danny Ocean ever thought to borrow a massive underground drill from Europe, dig a tunnel under a Vegas hotel simulating an earthquake, paving the way to steal millions of dollars.
It appears Cora might be the first mastermind to have a staff member beat a bat on a garbage can in the dugout to tip pitches to Houston hitters. Next Cora made a Hollywood quality sequel when he moved east and became Jack Sparrow, sign stealing video pirate.
Sometimes the criminal gets away with the money and the beautiful woman, like Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair. But sometimes they press their luck with the warden just a bit too far and well, “What we have here is failure to communicate.”
To be sure, Rob Manfred did communicate clearly that he would be punishing cheaters swiftly and severely. But Cool Hand Cora, just like Paul Newman, went a step too far. And the end was not pretty.
He is just a little more than a year removed from managing the greatest team in Sox history to 108 regular season wins and a World Series title. Now Cora is on the same boat as his former Houston coworkers, sailing straight to Alcatraz where escape is improbable.
Cora will wear the lifelong brand of a lawless cheater. He’s a former super hero who tuned disgraceful villain overnight. He embarrassed a franchise, a city and a region. For us fans the 2018 World Series Trophy is a bit tarnished.
He did the crime. Now he’ll do the time in his own Shawshank Redemption. (Ok, I know Tim Robbins character was innocent and Cora is not. But you get what I’m saying.)
Cora doesn’t deserve a walk on The Green Mile, or the fate of just about every Bond villain. But for now I’ll be happy if he takes his bat, garbage can, and video equipment and disappears into the distance as the credits roll.