Alex Cora, the Boston Red Sox manager has played in the team in his active days as a baseball player and knows what it takes to succeed, thus, he was named the team’s manager on October 22, 2017.
With quite an impressive resume – one year experience as a Major League coach, four years (2013-2016) as a baseball analyst for ESPN and ESPN Deportes, general manager of the Puerto Rico national baseball team, and MLB outfielder for 11 seasons, Alex Cora sure has what it takes to lead the team to a laudable height.
Who is Alex Cora?
He was born on October 18, 1975, in Caguas, Puerto Rico as José Alexander Cora. He represented his country in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic (WBC) during his playing career. Alex served as general manager for the Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League for five winters and doubled as their manager in two of those (2014-16). He also served as the general manager for the Puerto Rico team that finished runner-up to the United States in the WBC.
Alex Cora is married to Nilda and they share four children including their twin sons born in 2017, Xander Gabriel and Isander Manuel. The others are their daughter, Camila Cora, and Nilda’s son from a previous relationship, Jeriel Cora.
6 Things to Know About the Boston Red Sox Manager
1. He Opted to Attend College than Play Professional Baseball
While it is the dream of most high school baseball players to go pro early in their career, probably before college, Alex Cora decided to attend college instead. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th round of the 1993 MLB draft but did not strike a deal with them.
He would go in for a collegiate career at the University of Miami. Being a standout in the game from his high school days, he only kept improving his skills and excelling in the game. He was part of the College World Series all-tournament team for two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996. Alex had a successful and impressive career in college which did not fail to meet the eyes of fans, teams and the media alike. Towards the end of his college days and on the lookout for drafts, he was rated by Baseball America as the best collegiate defensive player going into the 1996 draft.
Little wonder he was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame years later in recognition of his tremendous contributions and achievements with the Hurricanes.
2. Alex Cora – MLB Career
Alex Cora was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third round of the 1996 draft and made his MLB debut on June 7, 1998, after an exceptional Minor League career. He spent more than half of his MLB career with the Dodgers from 1998 – 2004 and appeared in 684 games. Following his Dodgers’ career, he went in with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent in 2005 after which he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for infielder Ramón Vázquez in the same year.
He spent four seasons with the Red Sox and while with them, he was part of their team that won the 2007 World Series. Other teams, he played for include the New York Mets from 2009 – 2010, the Texas Rangers on a minor league contract where he played for their farm team, the Oklahoma City and subsequently for the Rangers in four games. Although he spent only a little time with the Rangers in 2010 appearing only in 6 games, they rewarded him with an AL Championship ring.
His final MLB appearance was with the Washington Nationals on September 28, 2011, who signed him to a minor league contract in January 2011. Through the course of his big league career, he played 1,273 games in over 14 seasons.
3. He Appeared in His MLB Debut Against His Brother
Ever before the Red Sox’s manager started out on the big league, there was another Cora already in the fields. His elder brother, Joey seemed to have consistently blazed the trail for him. Joey played college baseball at Vanderbilt University and the MLB over 11 seasons, appearing in 1,119 games. He has been Pittsburgh Pirates Third Base Coach since 2017 and is greatly successful in his own right.
However, the 1998 game between the Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners which was his (Alex’s) big league debut saw the two competing against each other in a bid to win for their respective teams. Joey was Seattle’s starting second baseman in the game.
That notwithstanding, Alex refers to him as his inspiration, stating that his height and position in the big league arena probably wouldn’t have seen the light of the day without his brother’s influence and guidance.
4. Alex Cora Had His First Career MLB Ejection as a Coach
Prior to taking up the managerial position of the Red Sox, he was the bench coach for the Houston Astros in 2016 as well as assumed managerial duties during the 2017 season. He took up the role on three different occasions after Astros manager A.J. Hinch was ejected.
During a game against the Los Angeles Angels on August 25, 2017, he was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Laz Díaz after he argued that the baseball had too much dirt on it and should be removed from play.
5. He is the 47th Manager in Red Sox History
Alex Cora was an ex-Red Sox player and recently joined the host of other former players turned managers. He interviewed for the open managerial position during the 2017 ALCS and was subsequently announced as the manager, signing a three-year managerial contract for 2018 through 2020 seasons, with an option for 2021 in October 2017.
He formally assumed his role as the 47th manager and the 22nd former Red Sox player to manage the club on November 2, 2017, following the World Series. Alex Cora replaced the former manager, John Farell.
6. Alex Cora is Open to Changes in his new Office
The Red Sox manager who among many things is admired for his integrity and diligence in the field as well as in his personal life is open to changes as he manages his team. He has established this relationship with them that one can’t help but envy. They trust him to do what he said and say what he will do. While it is clear that he will not tolerate inappropriate approach to work from his players, he is set to establish a bond that will reflect who he is and one that would definitely help to harness talent for optimum productivity.
Be it taking some players out to lunch or dinner, talk about their life away from the field or give them time off the field to rest, Alex has shown that for him, being a manager is not just a job but a bond.