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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex cora, chris sale, puerto rico, red sox, rick porcello

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