Miami Florida – In his last year of contract as leader of the Boston Red Sox, Alex Cora He doesn’t want to be a focus of attention.
The 48-year-old from Cagueno is in his sixth season at the helm of the Red Sox, ninth with which he won the World Series in 2018 in his debut as manager of the Big leagues.
Cora was out of management in 2020 while serving a one-year suspension for the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017, when he worked as a bench coach.
Boston enters the 2024 season after finishing the last two seasons at the bottom of the competitive American League East Division. He had a record of 78-84 in both seasons.
“In my situation, I don’t think it’s fair for the organization, the players and the management to talk about me”said Cora in an aside with the press during the recently concluded Caribbean Series.
“The last two years have been difficult for the organization. We finished last in the division. Mine can wait. My job is for the organization to improve, for the players to improve, for me to improve as a leader. Trying to win the World Series,” he added.
In addition to the Fall Classic title six years ago, Cora’s Red Sox reached the American League Championship Series in 2021, but fell in six games to the Astros. His record as a manager in the Majors is 440-370.
Red Sox fans, one of the most passionate in the Majors, have clamored for changes in the ninth to be able to compete against their division rivals.
Last year, the Baltimore Orioles They won the pennant with a record of 101-61, a first place they had not achieved since 2014. They did it with young stars like Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday. Last month, the franchise was purchased by David Rubenstein, co-founder of Carlyle Group Inc., for $1.725 million.
The New York Yankees, eternal rivals of the Red Sox, were reinforced with Dominican slugger Juan Soto and Puerto Rican starter Marcus Stroman. From the Red Sox, they acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo in exchange for pitchers Greg Weissert, Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice.
“I think every year we talk about the American League East as the best division in the Major Leagues. Nothing has changed. There are just other teams that are better than others right now. “We can talk about New York, Toronto, Tampa, but no one talks about Baltimore,” Cora said.
“Right now, (the Baltimore franchise) is one of the best in the Major Leagues. Young talent. A fan that is thirsty for a World Series. They are coming off a sensational season last year, led by a tremendous manager (Brandon Hyde),” Cora added.
Looking ahead to spring camp, the Red Sox’s moves have not been pompous. They signed all-star right-hander Lucas Giolito, got outfielder Tyler O’Neill from St. Louis and acquired Puerto Rican shortstop Vaughn Grissom, sending veteran ace Chris Sale to Atlanta. They also signed two-time Gold Glove catcher Roberto “Bebo” Perez to a minor league contract.
Cora assured that the offseason moves for management are not over. She recalled that in 2018, two weeks before the championship season began, the Red Sox signed slugger JD Martinez.
“In the madness we live in Boston, it is the best city when you win, and it is the most difficult city when you don’t win. That’s why we love it. Because the passion of the fan is very similar to what you experience here as Latinos (in the Caribbean Series),” Cora stressed.
“On November 5, 2017, when David Dombrowski (president of operations at that time) introduced me as manager of Boston, I said that for me managing in Boston is easy in a certain sense because we live baseball 24 hours a day, seven days. a week. When you experience baseball that way, emotions will rise and fall. We have a very big challenge before us, but, as I have always said, that is decided on the field of play. There are 162 games that we have to play and our goal is to play more than 170 this year,” he assured.
This year, executive Theo Epstein, architect of the Red Sox’s 2004 and 2007 championships and the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 championships, returned to Boston as a minority owner and part-time senior adviser to parent company Fenway Sports. Group.
“For my part, I have had conversations with Theo throughout the year. He is a person who gave me the opportunity to be a red half in 2005 (as a player) when he changed me and opened the doors for me to enter this crazy world that is the Red Sox. It is a passion and a unique team. He is going to help us in a certain way. I imagine that if Craig Breslow (Chief Baseball Officer) wants some advice or a little help he can talk to Theo, who for me is a member of the Hall of Fame,” Cora opined.