It’s been a special year for Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox.

The first-year manager has piloted the Sox to a franchise-record 106 wins so far in 2018, and has them positioned as the World Series favorites with the Major League Baseball playoffs quickly approaching.

While Cora and the Sox are focused on finishing their remarkable season with a parade, that doesn’t mean the former infielder hasn’t been able to appreciate and marvel at the success he and his club have achieved so far.

“It’s something that is all over the place,” Cora said, per NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich, “and everybody is talking about it. It’s a historic franchise. For me, personally, coming from where I come, being able to manage at the big-league level, I’m the second Puerto Rican to ever manage in the big leagues. You guys know how I feel — that’s why I have this (shirt representing Puerto Rico). For this to happen is very special.

“We sit down at home and sometimes we’re in awe, like, ‘This is really happening?’ It’s been great. It’s been fun. We’re going to call time out and enjoy this one, and we’re going to get back to business tomorrow. But we should enjoy this one.”

Cora’s ability to enjoy his team’s success while still pushing them to loftier heights undoubtedly is one of the things that has helped him connect with his players this season.

The 42-year-old has struck a chord with a number of Boston’s key players, including Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, who both have bounced back from subpar 2017 seasons to help lead the Red Sox’s potent offensive attack, and David Price, who has pitched like the ace the Red Sox expected him to be when he signed with them prior to the 2016 season.

The inaugural year of Cora’s reign at Fenway Park has been a resounding success through 157 games, but the 106-win Red Sox still have more work to do before they truly can bask in their historic 2018.

Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images