Alex Cora has generally made very good managerial decisions with his Boston Red Sox this year. But he made one terrible decision in Game 5 of the ALCS on Wednesday that backfired.
The Houston Astros entered the top of the sixth leading 1-0 on a second inning home run by Yordan Alvarez. Through five innings, Red Sox starter Chris Sale had allowed just two hits — both to Alvarez.
Houston got a leadoff walk and then Michael Brantley reached on an error. They had Alvarez coming to the plate with runners on second and third and one out in the sixth. Alvarez had hit Sale hard in both of his previous at-bats.
Rather than walk Alvarez to load the bases and set up a double play situation, Cora let Sale face Alvarez a third time. The Astros slugger scorched a ball down the left field line for a 2-run double to make it 3-0.
Cora made a pitching change after the 2-run double, but it was too late. Houston added three more runs to make it 6-0. They broke the game open in the sixth for five runs, similarly to how they broke open Game 4 with seven runs in the ninth.
Many of those watching the game couldn’t believe Cora left Sale in to face Alvarez a third time.
Sure, Sale against Alvarez was a lefty-lefty matchup. But Cora should have taken a cue from the first two at-bats and realized Sale being lefty didn’t hinder Alvarez. Sale was pitching well aside from his struggles against Alvarez. Why not just walk Yordan and let Sale face Carlos Correa, whom he had struck out twice?
Cora said he did not consider walking Alvarez.
The hot Alvarez went 3-for-3 against Sale with a single, double, home run and the first three RBIs of the game. Those were the only hits Sale allowed.
Photo: Aug 1, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (13) looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Cora was quite pleased with the start Eduardo Rodriguez gave the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night at Fenway Park. He just wasn’t happy with his pitcher over one thing.
Rodriguez allowed three runs on five hits in six innings, picking up the win in Boston’s 12-3 victory over the Houston Astros. The southpaw pitcher got Carlos Correa out all three times he faced him.
Rodriguez got Correa to ground out to end the top of the sixth. After getting the out, Rodriguez mocked Correa by pointing at his wrist.
What’s the story there?
Correa hit a huge home run in Game 1 of the series and pointed at his wrist to say “it’s my time” (video here).
Cora was upset with Rodriguez the moment he saw his pitcher taunt Correa. He yelled at Rodriguez “no!” and then said something to him after the pitcher entered the dugout.
After the game, Cora told the media he scolded Rodriguez because the Red Sox don’t show up their opponents.
Rodriguez indicated after the game that he wants to apologize to Correa.
Boston leads the series 2-1.
Longtime Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy will once again leave the NESN booth for an indefinite amount of time to receive cancer treatment. On Wednesday night, Alex Cora made it clear that he and his players are keeping Remy in their thoughts.
Cora said following Boston’s 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers that he spoke with Remy before the game. The 68-year-old told him to get the team going.
“I texted with Jerry before the game and he said, ‘Get them going. Get them going. Let’s go,'” Cora said, via Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. “So that was for him. We’re going to miss him. We’re going to be fighting with him.”
Remy said in a statement that he is once again facing his lung cancer treatment with great confidence.
“As I’ve done before and will continue to do so, I will battle this with everything I have,” he said. “I am so grateful for the support from NESN, the Red Sox and all of you. I hope that I’ll be rejoining you in your living rooms soon.”
Remy had a health scare back in June, but he was out for less than two weeks. The former Red Sox second baseman is a four-time cancer survivor. He was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008, and he has openly said that he believes his health issues have been the result of years of smoking.
This is Remy’s 34th year calling games for the Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox came from behind to pull off a stunning comeback against the New York Yankees on Sunday, and Alex Cora was quick to remind everyone that it could not have come at a better time.
Yankees starter Domingo German took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up a leadoff double to Alex Verdugo. German had been virtually untouchable to that point, but Aaron Boone felt 93 pitches was enough for the right-hander with New York holding a comfortable 4-0 lead. The Yankees then went into full meltdown mode.
After German was pulled, Boston had four consecutive hits, a groundout that drove in a run, and a sacrifice fly. Before you knew it, the Red Sox were leading 5-4. Matt Barnes came on for the save in the ninth on what happened to be “Family Day” at Fenway Park. That was not lost on Cora.
“I was just thinking about our Family Day today. It was going to be suck, to be honest with you, if we got shut out and they threw a no-hitter,” Cora told reporters after the game. “That’s all I was thinking about. I was like, ‘Man, this is gonna be a weird one.’ But now it’s gonna be a fun one.”
The Red Sox have won more games this season when they were trailing than when they have led wire-to-wire. That’s hardly a fluke. In what many expected to be a rebuilding year, Cora has pulled all the right strings and has the team looking like a legitimate World Series contender.
Boston improved to 61-39 with Sunday’s win and has the best record in the American League.
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora is reluctant to push for foreign substance checks on opposing pitchers for a very interesting reason.
Cora was singled out as one of the main proponents of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing operation in the 2017 season when serving as the team’s bench coach. With that in mind, he said Wednesday that it would be difficult for him to make a request to umpires to check for foreign substances given his personal history.
However one compares the two scandals, it’s understandable that Cora feels awkward here. He’s closely identified with one major cheating scandal. There is something hypocritical about going after opponents for something in the same general category.
Cora’s comments come in light of another manager not shying away from going after opposing pitchers with substance checks. It sounds like we won’t see Cora replicating that anytime soon unless he absolutely has to.
Alex Cora earned his first ejection of the season on Thursday, and you will understand why the Boston Red Sox manager was so irate when you see the call he was arguing.
With the Red Sox and Minnesota Twins tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Boston reliever Matt Andriese got catcher Ryan Jeffers to swing at a ball in the dirt. For whatever reason, home plate umpire Jordan Baker thought Jeffers got a piece of the ball. Cora was baffled that Baker didn’t ask for help from the first base umpire.
You could hear Baker telling Cora that the call is “100 percent me” and that he doesn’t need to appeal. He’s technically right about that, but he should have asked for help. Even Jeffers knew he didn’t make contact, which is why he began running to first. Just look at how bad this call was:
Andriese got Jeffers to swing and miss at the next pitch as well, so the awful call didn’t end up hurting Boston. That doesn’t make it any less awful. Cora had every right to be furious.
Many were surprised that Alex Cora got his old job back immediately after serving a year-long suspension, and the Boston Red Sox manager insists he did not see it coming, either.
Cora met with the media on Tuesday for the first time since the Red Sox hired him back. He apologized for his role in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal and said he knew he wanted to return to Major League Baseball but was thinking it would take “two or three years.”
“So soon? I never saw it?” Cora said, via Bill Koch of the Providence Journal. “I knew I wanted to come back to the game, but I didn’t know how fast. There was a lot of talk within the family. You put them first.”
Cora was painted as one of the masterminds behind the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scheme. He said Tuesday that he did not want to get into specifics of what went on but that he is “sorry.” Cora added that he doesn’t want anyone to view his return as a comeback story.
“This situation is part of who I am for the rest of my career. As a man, I have to deal with it,” he said. “I don’t want people to make this a great comeback story. That’s not what it is. I’m still Alex. I made a mistake.”
Cora won the World Series with Boston in his first year on the job in 2018. He probably benefitted from what Red Sox players said about him after the Astros scandal erupted. It also helped that Major League Baseball cleared him of any suspected wrongdoing in Boston.
Winning almost always trumps all in sports. Boston finished 24-36 in the shortened season this year, and Cora will be expected to turn things around. If he can do that, his role in the Astros scandal will seem like a distant memory to many.
Alex Cora had long been viewed as the favorite to land the Boston Red Sox manager job before it was made official on Friday. However, inside the organization, that was apparently never a certainty.
Cora still commands the respect of many inside the organization, including players and ownership, who won the 2018 World Series with him as manager. However, the ultimate decision was left to chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, who has no previous ties to Cora.
According to Chad Jennings of The Athletic, many in the organization initially felt that Cora would not get the job when the search started. One Red Sox source told Jennings that the search “wasn’t a dog-and-pony show.”
Things shifted when Bloom and Cora began to have face-to-face meetings and Bloom began to seriously consider Cora’s strengths and witnesses. At one point, Cora asked Bloom if the chief baseball officer trusted him, and said the organization should move on if he didn’t. Bloom replied that he did.
In the end, Cora was reportedly one of two finalists for the job, and ultimately got it. He clearly won over Bloom, and it’s a move that will make the players happy as well.
The Boston Red Sox have ended their search for a new manager, and they are bringing back Alex Cora.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported on Friday that the Red Sox will re-hire Cora as manager.
Cora was suspended for the entire 2020 season due to his role in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. There has been speculation for quite some time that the Red Sox could bring him back, and he was believed to be a finalist for the job for more than a week.
Cora was painted as one of the masterminds behind the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme. He was a bench coach with Houston at the time, but the Red Sox were also accused of committing violations while Cora was manager. Those violations were much less severe and Cora was found to be not involved.
The Red Sox fired Cora after he was suspended by Major League Baseball and promoted Ron Roenicke to manager. Boston finished 24-36 in the shortened season and then fired Roenicke.
Cora won the World Series with Boston in his first year on the job in 2018. Players stood by him after news of the Astros scandal blew up.
After former Houston manager A.J. Hinch was hired as manager of the Detroit Tigers last month, it seemed more likely that Cora would find a job quickly. That job happened to be his old job.
The Boston Red Sox appear to be closing in on a new manager, with the field narrowing significantly.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Red Sox have narrowed their manager search down to two. Former manager Alex Cora remains a leading candidate, but Philadelphia Phillies integrative baseball performance director Sam Fuld has a “very real chance” to land the job. Fuld has strong ties to Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, who will make the ultimate decision.
Fuld, a longtime MLB outfielder, has no managerial experience. He has interviewed for managerial posts before, though, and has been widely touted as a future manager. If the Red Sox don’t hire him, it’s highly likely that someone else will within the next couple years.
Cora, on the other hand, is familiar in the organization and won a World Series with them in 2018. He lost his job due to his role in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal, but retains the respect of the organization and players. The Red Sox are definitely serious about considering him.
Whoever takes the job will have to oversee a bit of a rebuild. The Red Sox cut salary prior to the 2020 season and finished last in the AL East.