After World Series win with Astros, new Red Sox manager Cora aims to knock them out
Alex Cora led Boston to a victory over the hated Yankees. Next up for the first-year Red Sox manager: The team he left after winning a World Series as a bench coach last season.
“I’ve been talking about them the whole season, so now we go,” he said after the Red Sox beat New York 4-3 in Game 4 of the AL Division Series to earn the right to play the Houston Astros for the pennant. “Best of seven. They know me. I know them. It should be fun.”
An infielder who spent 14 years with six big league teams, Cora was in Houston for one year before the Red Sox made him the first minority manager in franchise history — and one of its youngest, too. His first season is already a success, with a franchise-record 108 victories, a third consecutive AL East title and the team’s first playoff series win since 2013. Now he has to do it again — against his former boss, A.J. Hinch, whose Astros swept Cleveland in the ALDS. Games 1 and 2 are Saturday and Sunday before the series moves to Houston for three more, if necessary. “I don’t know too much about them. Just they have a good team,” Cora said coyly on Tuesday night. “What they did to the Indians, that was impressive. It seems like they’re playing their best baseball of the season at the right time.” And so are the Red Sox, thanks to Cora. In his first post-season series as a manager, he seemed to make all the right decisions, like starting Brock Holt in Game 3 and seeing him hit for the only post-season cycle in baseball history. And then he put Holt back on the bench in Game 4 and watched Ian Kinsler come through with a key RBI double.