It’s been nine years since Alex Cora’s four-year stint with the Red Sox came to a close, but the impact that he had on those teams is still felt. Just ask his former teammates.
Josh Beckett played with Cora from 2006-08. They won a World Series together in 2007. In Beckett’s mind, Cora was destined to be a manager once his playing career was over. It was just a matter of when.
“I think he will do great,” Beckett said. “There were always a few guys you kind of ear-tagged when you played with them, that this guy would make a great manager. I always though Mike Redmond when he was with the Marlins, and I always thought Alex Cora and Mike Lowell would make great managers. You just kind of ear-tag those guys as you go through your career.”
The Mike Lowell reference is no surprise. He’s another guy whose name has come up as a potential Red Sox’ skipper despite having no managerial experience. So Beckett is definitely on point with his assessment:
“I always thought Alex watched the game differently than the rest of us did. I knew when he became a bench coach and left ESPN, and became the bench coach of the Astros, this was eventually going to happen. I didn’t know it was going to be this quick. I thought maybe a couple of years of being back in the game. He was definitely someone I ear-tagged when I played with him that he would make a really good manager.”
Cora also developed a bond with Dustin Pedroia during their two years together. Although he could probably never be a manager, Pedey is another guy with a high baseball IQ. So the fact that the two of them see eye-to-eye is another plus.
The real answer here is that no one really knows how Alex Cora will fare as the Sox’ manager. Managing in one of the toughest sports cities in the world as your first gig is no easy task, but if he really has these uncanny baseball instincts that Beckett referred to then I guess he’s worth the gamble.
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Photo Credit: Barry Chin/Boston Globe