Alex Cora is the new manager of the Boston Red Sox and once the Houston Astros win or lose the World Series he’ll walk into a talented, underachieving, promising, and fractured clubhouse. This team could easily make strides and be in the World Series next year or they could just as easily compound their current issues and be fighting for a Wild Card berth. So what can the new skipper do to get this team going in the right direction?
Cora and Dustin Pedroia were of course teammates on the Red Sox from 2006-2008 under Terry Francona. If Cora can get Pedroia on board out of the gate, which it would seem he should have no problem doing, then he’s off to a good start. For whatever reason Pedroia never seemed to be tight with John Farrell and then of course he hated Bobby V.
Pedroia’s like a scorned lover, never letting himself get close to another manager again after the way Francona was ripped away from him. So maybe Pedroia and Cora can bond over how badly the Sox management sandbagged Tito on his way out of town.
In addition to Pedroia, Cora should be well equipped to better connect with the Latino players because he, ya know, is from Puerto Rico and is obviously fluent in Spanish. That alone should do wonders for Latino players that Farrell may not have been able to connect with. Even if Farrell spoke some Spanish, there’s no substitute for a guy that can *conversate* in both languages.
Being just 42 years old, Cora will be the second youngest manager in the MLB and should be in a much better position to connect with the younger Sox players than his predecessor. Cora played in the era of social media and constant media attention in Boston so he understands how to handle it. Plus he was revered in his playing days as a veteran leader that helped mentor younger players. Including ones that would ultimately take his job in guys like Pedroia. So while he may not have managerial experience, he checks all the boxes that would seemingly make for a good manager.
After that all he has to do is get serial malcontent David Price on board. Other than that, jobs a piece of cake. Maybe some sessions on the manager’s couch to do nothing other than vent will help Price release a little steam before he blows another gasket on guys like Dennis Eckersley. I have no idea what Price’s relationship was with Farrell, but the whole “Manager John” thing sure didn’t make it seem like they were buddies. And Price knows that, he’s not stupid. So whether Cora walks in Day 1 and tells Price to sit down and shut up, or he massages the ego of a $217 Million enigma, I leave up to him. But, get a handle on those social circles within the roster and the rest will fall into place.