How impressive has Alex Cora been in his first year as Boston Red Sox manager? The team’s chairman already is comparing him to one of the greatest major league managers of all time.
Just days after Cora guided the Red Sox to 119 total wins and a World Series title, Tom Werner gave his 43-year-old manager the ultimate praise by mentioning him alongside former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver.
What prompted Werner’s glowing comparison? An exchange he and Red Sox principal owner John Henry had with Cora in his office after Game 4 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium.
Here’s The Athletic’s Chad Jennings:
Just as they’d done throughout the postseason, (Werner and Henry) made their way into the office of manager Alex Cora to tell him congratulations, to wish him luck. But this time, Cora was the one with the message.
“I’m going to go with David Price tomorrow,” he told them. “Not Chris Sale. And David Price is locked in.”
Those are the words Werner remembers. Quick and to the point. Punctuated with a certainty and conviction that belied Cora’s relative youth and inexperience.
“It’s really quite remarkable for a rookie manager,” Werner said. “Because you think we’re, in some ways, in the presence of Earl Weaver.”
Cora made a bold decision to start Price on three days’ rest over his ace, Chris Sale, in Game 5 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like nearly all of his other moves, it paid off, but what impressed Werner most was Cora’s fearlessness in communicating a somewhat controversial decision.
Of course, Cora needs to do a whole lot more to reach Weaver’s level. The Baseball Hall of Famer amassed 1,480 wins over 17 seasons in Baltimore and posted a .583 winning percentage, 11th-best in major league history.
But so far, it appears ownership is quite pleased in its investment in the former Red Sox utilityman.
Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images