Alex Cora, the manager of the Boston Red Sox, has played on the team during his active time as a baseball player and knows what it takes to be successful. That is why he was appointed manager of the team on 22 October 2017.
With a pretty impressive resume – one year of experience as a Major League coach, four years (2013-2016) as a baseball analyst for ESPN and ESPN Deportes, general manager of the Puerto Rican national baseball team, and eleven seasons as an MLB outfielder – Alex Cora certainly has what it takes to lead the team to a commendable size.
Who is Alex Cora?
He was born José Alexander Cora on 18 October 1975 in Caguas, Puerto Rico. During his playing career, he represented his country at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in 2006 and 2009. Alex served as general manager for the Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League for five winters and was their manager in two of them (2014-16). He also served as general manager for the Puerto Rican team that finished second in the United States’ WBC.
Alex Cora is married to Nilda and they have four children, including their twin sons Xander Gabriel and Islander Manuel, born in 2017. 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 chose college instead. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th round of the 1993 MLB draft but did not make a deal with them.
He would opt for a college career at the University of Miami. Because he had been an outstanding player since high school, he only improved his skills and made money in the game. He was a member of the College World Series All-Tournament Team for two consecutive years, in 1995 and 1996. Alex has had a successful and impressive college career that has captured the attention of fans, teams, and media alike. Toward the end of his college years and in search of a draft, he was rated by Baseball America as the best college defensive player to enter the draft in 1996.
No wonder he was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame years later, in recognition of his tremendous contributions and achievements in the Hurricanes.
2. He Appeared in His MLB Debut Against His Brother
Even before the Red Sox manager started in the big league, there was already another Cora on the field. His older brother Joey seemed to have consistently paved the way for him. Joey played college baseball at Vanderbilt University and in the MLB over eleven seasons, playing 1,119 games. Since 2017 he has been the third-base coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is very successful himself.
However, in the 1998 game between the Dodgers and Seattle Mariners, which was his (Alex’s) debut in the big league, the two competed against each other to win for their respective teams. Joey was Seattle’s starting second baseman in this game.
Nevertheless, Alex calls him his inspiration and explains that his size and position in the big league arena would probably not have seen the light of day without his brother’s influence and leadership.
3. Alex Cora Had His First Career MLB Ejection as a Coach
Prior to taking on the Red Sox leadership position, he was the bank coach of the Houston Astros in 2016 and took on leadership roles in the 2017 season. He took over this role on three different occasions after the Astros manager A.J. Hinch was fired.
During a game against the Los Angeles Angels on 25 August 2017, he was kicked out of the game by Home Plate referee Laz Díaz after he argued that baseball was too dirty and should be taken out of the game.
4. 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 7 June 1998, after an exceptional career in the Minor League. From 1998 to 2004, he spent more than half of his MLB career with the Dodgers, playing in 684 games. Following his career with the Dodgers, he joined the Cleveland Indians as a freelance player in 2005 and was transferred to the Boston Red Sox for infielder Ramón Vázquez the same year.
He spent four seasons with the Red Sox, and while he was 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 to 2010, the Texas Rangers with a minor-league contract where he played for their farm team, Oklahoma City, and then four games for the Rangers. Although he spent little time with the Rangers in 2010 and only played in 6 games, they rewarded him with an AL championship ring.
His last appearance in the MLB was on September 28, 2011, at the Washington Nationals, which signed him to a minor league contract in January 2011. In the course of his major league career, he played 1,273 games in over 14 seasons.
5. He is the 47th Manager in Red Sox History
Alex Cora was a former Red Sox player and recently joined the many other former players who became managers. He applied for the open manager position during the ALCS 2017 and was subsequently announced as manager. He signed a three-year contract as a manager for the 2018 to 2020 seasons, with an option for 2021 in October 2017.
He officially took over as the 47th manager and 22nd former Red Sox player to manage the club on 2 November 2017 following the World Series. Alex Cora replaced former manager John Farell.
6. Alex Cora is Open to Changes in his new Office
The Red Sox manager, admired for his integrity and diligence both in the field and in his personal life, is open to change as he leads his team. He has built this relationship with them that is to be envied. They trust him to do what he said and say what he will do. It’s clear that he won’t tolerate an inappropriate approach to work from his players, but he will build a bond that reflects who he is and would definitely help to harness talent for optimal productivity.
Whether he invites some players for lunch or dinner, talks about their life off the field, or gives them time off the field to rest, Alex has shown that being a manager is not just a job to him, but a bond.