The Boston Red Sox have selected Alex Cora as their manager for the upcoming season. The club and the former Red Sox utility player have reached a three-year contract.
Cora was notably a member of the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Since then he has been an ESPN color analyst, general manager for the Puerto Rico national team and, most recently, bench coach for the Houston Astros.
The Red Sox managerial position opened up after the firing of John Farrell. Farrell had led the Sox to two straight AL East titles, and collected a World Series ring for the club in 2013. Farrell’s sacking comes to no surprise after displaying poor playoff performances in the past two seasons. Farrell has also been criticized for poor coaching decisions, like the injury of all-star pitcher Steven Wright, who Farrell used as a pinch runner in a game in San Diego. The Boston Red Sox were 432-378 with Farrell at the helm.
It has been years since the Red Sox have seen such a young lineup. Cora, 42, was the youngest managerial candidate in the running. The other candidates for the position were recent Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. Gardenhire has since agreed to three-year deal with the Tigers, and only time will tell if Ausmus finds another club to manage.
There will be a significant manager shake-up in the American League East as not only the Red Sox elected to find new leadership, but the New York Yankees have also decided to part ways with their manager Joe Girardi. This comes as surprise for baseball fans to see the AL East Champions and the AL Wild Card Champions both pursue new managers.
Girardi, a three-time World Series champion as a player with the Yankees, has been deemed “too intense” by former players of his. The downfall of both Girardi and Farrell is stemmed in a failure to communicate properly with their respective clubs. Girardi was 910-710 as manager of the Yankees and collected a World Series ring with the club in 2009. Farrell was 432-378 with the Red Sox and won a World Series title with the club in 2013.
The rest of the Red Sox coaching staff is currently undefined as Third Base Coach Brian Butterfield, Hitting Coach Chilli Davis and Pitching Coach Carl Willis have exited the franchise following the dismissal of John Farrell. Davis and the Orono-native Butterfield have already found employment with the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs’ acquisition of Red Sox talent has since become typical after former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein became the Cubs’ general manager after the 2011 season. Epstein was instrumental in the infamous Red Sox 2004 season, when he was responsible for gathering the talent that would rid the club of their 86 year World Series drought. Prior to the Cubs’ acquisition of Davis and Butterfield, Epstein had acquired three 2013 World Champions in Jon Lester, Koji Uehara and John Lackey. Willis after his departure from the Red Sox, joined the Cleveland Indians. Willis was a member of the Indians’ coaching staff from 2003-2009. He joins an Indians’ coaching staff managed by no other than former Red Sox Manager Terry “Tito” Francona.