Houston Astros Bench Coach Alex Cora agreed on Sunday to become the new manager for the Boston Red Sox. Cora was on the Red Sox 2007 World Series championship roster as a player and now hopes to help the team return to winning postseason games.
Cora through a prepared statement the Red Sox released said that returning the city of Boston and the club has fulfilled a dream for him and his family. He added that he looked forward to working with the players and reaching the goal of winning another World Series championship for the city and its wonderful fans.
The club announced their new manager on Sunday; one day after the Astros reached the World Series by eliminating the Yankees in the ALCS.
With two days’ rest prior to the World Series opening, between the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Sox had the opportunity to sign Cora without breaking MLB’s rule of not making any major moves while the World Series is being played.
Cora, who is just 42, replaces former manager John Farrell, who was manager when Boston won its last title in 2013.
Even though the Red Sox won back to back AL East titles for the first time in franchise history, they also were last twice in the division during Farrell’s reign and won only one game during the postseason since they won the title his first year as manager.
John Henry the owner of the Red Sox said in Cora the team signed a natural leader who will guide the clubhouse.
His acumen in baseball and ability to strategically think are uncommon in someone his age and the team could not have signed a better match for its players, front office and for where the team will go the next few years.
Cora, who is from Puerto Rico, is the first Hispanic to manager the Red Sox. Boston has faced renewed scrutiny over racial issues this season after outfielder Adam Jones from the Orioles reported that he was subjected to racial slurs while playing in Boston.
Cora has been general manager of the Puerto Rican Winter League’s Criollos de Cagues for the last five years, while serving as well as the manager for the club the last two years.
Boston GM Dave Dombrowski indicated that with Cora being bilingual it will be significant for the club and its players who are Hispanic. He praised the success Cora has had relating to both veterans and young players.