Alex Cora: Persistence & Perfection
The Boston Red Sox are World Series champs. Everything you’ve read wants to tell you the reason for their success – the highest payroll in baseball, the pitching, the bats of Mookie Betts, Steve Pearce and J.D. Martinez. But the biggest secret weapon wasn’t on the field, it was in the dugout.
Alex Cora became the fifth manager in MLB history to win the World Series in his first season as the skipper. Think about that… In more than a century of baseball, you can count those names on one hand.
Cora is also the first Puerto-Rican born manager to win the World Series. His team’s storied season wasn’t just the best in 2018, it was arguably the best season of all time.
Growing up in Caguas, Puerto Rico, it was discipline and humility that created the persistent perfectionist who is off to the hottest start of any manager in baseball history.
Cora was drafted three separate times (’93, ’96, and ’98). He chose to forego a minor league contract in the first two drafts in favor of an education at the University of Miami.
Seriously? An 18-year-old kid from Puerto Rico passed on a baseball contract for school?
In 2004, Cora logged one of the most persistent at-bats ever recorded – an 18-pitch plate visit with 14 foul balls. He ended that at-bat with a home run.
When his play declined after 13 MLB seasons (as everyone’s does), he made the game force him out, playing in Puerto Rico and the minor leagues before retiring in 2012.
Cora spent three years as an ESPN analyst before joining the Houston Astros’ staff last year in 2017. What did the Astros do? Won the World Series.
Now, Cora’s Red Sox are World Series champs in 2018. That’s two seasons, two World Series titles, and a record of 209-115 (22-10 in the playoffs).
You’ll hear hundreds of explanations for the Sox’ success. Call it pitching. Call it payroll. Call it luck.
It's all of those things. But if we're talking about the secret to their success, let's call it what it is -- Alex Cora.