Nathan Eovaldi grants Alex Cora much of the credit when it comes to keeping the Boston Red Sox unified.
Even when facing adversity with a COVID-19 outbreak and injuries this season, the manager was a key component in triggering the Red Sox playoff push this year. He got crafty switching up the bullpen and keeping the team’s morale high, especially towards the second half of the season after the All-Star break.
For a manager that missed the entire season last year and is now back with his team, that time away serving a one-year suspension gave him and his players good perspective.
“His leadership, I think, says it all,” Eovaldi told reporters Saturday in his media availability. “Any time we start to — whether we’re losing focus or we’re kind of falling off, he rights the ship, gets us back online, gets us back on track.”
From roster switch-ups to the ups and downs of COVID-19, the Red Sox manager clearly is the glue that keeps this team together, as to be expected.
“With COVID and the outside distractions with COVID, and we’ve got to really rely on our families and everybody to kind of stay together as a group. That’s what our motto has been from the very beginning,” said Eovaldi. “We’re a family inside the clubhouse. All of our family is outside, and we all have to be together. We’re not going to get through this if we’re not all on the same page.”
A clear example of Cora’s abilities to get the team back on track was shown during Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“(Cora) kept saying, ‘We’ve got eight innings left. We’ve got to score three more runs to be back in this thing. Keep battling away. Keep chipping away,’ ” Eovaldi shared.
Eovaldi is just the latest to express Cora’s impact on the team this season, but there’s no doubt that without Cora’s unconditional support, the Red Sox may not be as deep in the running for a World Series title as they find themselves in right now.