By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that the Red Sox are heavily interested in Alex Cora, current bench coach for the Houston Astros.
Despite all of the reports, the question remains:
Why should Red Sox fans believe in Alex Cora?
The former Red Sox shortstop knows Boston. That’s a big draw. However, playing shortstop and managing are two different animals.
On the surface, fans may be struggling with the lack of managerial experience that Cora possesses. Yes, he was the manager during the World Baseball Classic. Yes, he is on a postseason staff, but will that translate?
In order to find the positives that a fan may seek, you must first start with his peers. Houston Astros’ manager, AJ Hinch, has high praise about his current bench coach.
“He’s driven to do well, has very high expectations of himself, which in turn gives high expectations to the people around him,” Hinch said. “He has a little bit of an ‘it’ factor when it comes to having convictions in his decisions. I’m proud of him because he has been able to influence players very, very quickly.” – MLB.com / Richard Justice
Personally, the most important takeaway from this quote is his ability to influence players. Perhaps one of John Farrell’s biggest downfalls in his time as the Red Sox manager was the inability to motivate players. After David Ortiz retired, it became more evident that Farrell took a backseat the future Hall of Fame DH. When Ortiz left, there was a leadership void and John Farrell was unable to fill that role.
For the second consecutive season, John Farrell was unable to produce in the postseason. The wins and losses are a problem, but the underlying issue was the lack of preparation that the Red Sox clubhouse exhibited. Yes, the players should take responsibility, but the blame fell on the correct man.
From that quote, I didn’t see a man that would accept that failure. AJ Hinch believes in Alex Cora and Red Sox fans should too.
In addition to his high praise from the Astros manager, the young Astros core adores Cora.
When Jon Morosi tweeted that Cora would surely become a big league manager in 2018, two of their young stars responded with the corresponding tweets.
First, Carlos Correa:
I’ve learned so much from AC! Love that man 👊🏽pic.twitter.com/0korvoHI9B
— Carlos Correa (@TeamCJCorrea) October 11, 2017
Then Lance McCullers followed suit.
The absolute best. https://t.co/STSVCRwXIy
— Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) October 11, 2017
Of course, there will be those that find these statements to be irrelevant statements from players; however, which Boston Red Sox players were there for John Farrell?
Nobody defended him among the Eckersley turmoil and nobody defended him after he was fired. Not one player.
The Red Sox young core needs stability and a bonafide leader. Will there be rough patches? Yes. Will there be mistakes? Yes.
Every manager has them.
Joe Girardi went from the Hot Seat in Game 2 of the ALDS, to having his team one win away from the World Series.
Joe Madden won a World Series title in 2016, now many Cubs fans are questioning his bullpen usage.
The young future manager will certainly falter at times, but his leadership qualities outweigh the potential trials.
“I played  years in the big leagues. I wasn’t the most talented. I had to pay attention to be successful. I had to think things through. It’s something that intrigues me.” – Alex Cora
That mentality will certainly carry him through the ups and downs of being a big league manager.
If the Red Sox are fortunate enough to hire Alex Cora, they will have selected the right guy for the job.