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Cora says opportunity to manage Red Sox is a return home

Cora says opportunity to manage Red Sox is a return home”

Would it have been reasonable to identify either the 2016 or 2017 Red Sox rosters as really being championship-caliber?

If you were looking for Cora to concede that his lack of managerial experience is a potential obstacle, sorry, not going to happen. "I think that's very important". First pitch or a 2-0 pitch. "Shell talk baseball with you guys".

"Being ready to hit it". Sometimes you want change not just because of your results but there's a time and a place for it. "We're going to connect with players, be genuine, and be accessible, and that's the most important thing". But when he was offered the job, he didn't hesitate: "I played here".

Cut through all the pomp and the pageantry, the photos and the flashbulbs, the presentation of the No. 28 jersey and the unfurling of the Puerto Rican flag, and here's what we know about Alex Cora as the next manager of the Boston Red Sox. "Hopefully, this is a step forward". Not everybody has to take pitches. Whatever I can do to help him out, I'm going to be there for him.

One of the reasons the Red Sox were drawn to Cora is because of his comfort with analytics, which have become a bigger part of the game than ever over the a year ago or two.

To wit: Cora noted his longstanding relationship with Carlos Beltran, the Astros' 40-year-old designated hitter. But Cora vows not to overuse the numbers.

"At the end of the day in this city, everybody wants to win a world championship". You embrace them. You tell them how good they are, and when you have to twist their arm and tell them that's not good enough, they're going to respond to you. You guys know how I dealt with Manny with all the situations.

And if you were hoping Cora would acknowledge that managing and playing in Boston presents a challenge that doesn't exist in nearly any other market, nope, he wasn't about to do that either. He has a good job, he got an extension too. "Who's ready to play?"

Cora cited World Series Game 7 when the Astros were fully prepared to use both Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander out of the bullpen but stuck with unheralded Charlie Morton because he was rolling through the final four innings.

"So we'll create a balance", said Cora. We have to be connected, because that's information that I need for them to be better. There's going to be different formations, probably, defensively. We chose the best man. But I come from a country where they live baseball 24/7.

A big part of being a manager is to have a clubhouse with sound leadership and chemistry.

For now, Cora can address in broad strokes his expectations for his players, but come spring he'll go about the hard work of helping the Red Sox establish a new identity, something the team has struggled with since David Ortiz's retirement.

As a player, Cora was known for his ability to be a positive influence in the clubhouse, and he thinks that skill will also help him as a manager. Too close to players? "But for me, it's not", Cora said. But while it was one thing for Cora to pull aside Ramirez and talk sternly when they were teammates, it's seemingly another to be the manager who must smooth over Price's ongoing feud with the media and general unhappiness with playing in Boston. Alex Bregman, for example. It's a situation that he really wanted me to grow as a manager and as a person.

If there was one comment that stood out from Alex Cora's introductory press conference at Fenway Park on Monday, it was without question the remark about the city of Boston not presenting a challenge to him.

"This year, I learned that talking to players is not bad", Cora said. "And if they're better, I'll be fine".

"I learned a lot this year from A.J. Hinch".

"But it's the reality of the world that we live in", he said. But at the end of the day, we have a ring. There's not too many minority managers.

"That is a obstacle, that is pressure, I don't see it that way". He said, 'The scoreboard is not for the fans. And then you have to filter this information and give it to the players.



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