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Alex Cora Newsbeat

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cora breaks character, gets tossed in Game 1

BOSTON—The warm glow of a television screen served as Alex Cora’s window into the final four innings of a 7-2 Red Sox loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night, the rookie manager’s punishment for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire James Hoye.

Cora was ejected after a close Justin Verlander pitch to Andrew Benintendi was a called third strike, ending the fifth inning. Benintendi didn’t agree with the call, firing his shin guard, bat and helmet to the dirt near home plate. Neither did Cora, who barked from the first-base dugout and was promptly ejected by Hoye.

“You can’t argue balls and strikes, and I did,” Cora said. “It’s kind of embarrassing that it happens in the playoffs. That wasn’t cool, watching the game in the clubhouse. I’ve got a job to do and manage the team in the dugout. But sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and defend your players.”

 

QLE Posted: October 14, 2018 at 07:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, balls and strikes, ejection

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How Alex Cora earned the Red Sox’s trust—and how he repaid it as they ended the Yankees’ season

NEW YORK – Long before he led the Boston Red Sox to a franchise-record 108 victories, before he drubbed the New York Yankees by managing a near-perfect postseason series, before the American League Championship Series beckoned and a World Series berth stood four victories away, Alex Cora needed a favor.

When he called Rick Porcello and Chris Sale in January, they were glad to hear from him. Over the previous two months, as he prepared to drop into the snake pit that is the Red Sox manager’s office, Cora had traversed the country, meeting with players, soliciting their advice, listening to their grievances, cautioning them of his plans. Not long ago, Cora had been a player, which meant he understood the dynamics of the modern clubhouse. He also recognized that every new job comes with blind spots, and he took pains to seek them out and confront them, because the best managers in baseball aren’t considered as such purely out of tactical genius or personal affinity but the quality that bridges the two: trust.

Cora knew that the manager could serve as the fulcrum for a clubhouse of 25 men, with diverse backgrounds and differing personalities, so long as he offered his unwavering support. Now, though, he needed them to be here for him, for his homeland. So he asked Porcello and Sale, two of the Red Sox’s veterans and leaders, to join him on a goodwill trip to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

For those interested in the interpersonal side of managing, an account of these relationships in action.

 

QLE Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, chris sale, puerto rico, red sox, rick porcello

Thursday, October 04, 2018

This year, Red Sox had resting players down to a science

It’s tough to keep secret sauce all to yourself when some of your chefs move on to other jobs.

As Houston’s bench coach, Cora saw the fruits of how the Astros had sought extra opportunities to rest players. Moreover, he was struck by the information-based decision-making employed in planning for a seven-month season.

“I learned last year that [workload management] is very important,” said Cora. “Coming into this situation, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with the roster as far as rest.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2018 at 06:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, red sox

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nine Innings: How the Red Sox Can Survive October, Contract-Year Surges and Three Words on Every Team

Boston manager Alex Cora learned from his experience last year as bench coach of the Houston Astros how to prepare for the postseason. He remembered how the Astros sat down with Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander in September to explain how they would “taper” their innings.

“Dallas just goes, ‘Okay,’” Cora said, “and Verlander goes, ‘That’s okay, but in my last start I’m going seven innings and throwing 120 pitches.’ He knew how to get himself ready.”

Verlander tuned up for October with an 11-strikeout, 110-pitch gem.

I assume that advising them to eat less lard, get a mediocre night’s sleep, and watch out for zeppelin attacks won’t cut it in this modern age.

QLE Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, playoffs, red sox

 

 

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