Can a Yankees fan like the Red Sox? (And 3 ways to become a better coach right now)
How many of you know who this guy is?
So, admittedly, I’m not a huge Major League Baseball guy, although as a born-and-bred New Yorker, I'm pretty much a lifelong Yankees fan, so it might surprise you to hear that up till a couple of years ago I had no idea that this was Alex Cora - manager of the Boston Red Sox (the world’s most hated team if you’re a Yankees fans!).
The truth is, though, that before October of 2017 very few non-baseball people knew who Alex Cora was.
So, to fill you in:
Alex Cora played in the majors for 13 years and for six different teams before retiring in 2011. He was a middle infielder and had a decent, but certainly not Hall of Fame, career.
After his retirement, he did some broadcasting for ESPN and ESPN Deportes and was the GM of the Puerto Rican national team for a few season.
He found his way into coaching in MLB for just one season in 2017 as a bench coach for the Houston Astros before landing the manager job with the Boston Red Sox after that season ended.
Pretty high profile position for a coach with such limited experience coaching at this level.
Here’s where it gets interesting, though:
In his first season with Boston in 2018, Cora took a pretty good team and turned them into an amazing team.
They finished the regular season with a rare 108 wins and went on to win the World Series - almost unheard of for a first-year manager, certainly one of his limited MLB coaching experience.
As a coach who’s always looking to get better at what I do - I know you can relate! - I love studying other coaches who, to the outside observer, have unexpected success.
The thing about “unexpected success,” in my experience, is it’s almost never unexpected to those who were a part of it.
When you're a part of something special and you “see how the sausage is made” is always much less surprising.
So… a guy like Alex Cora was pretty intriguing. And not nearly as well-documented as, say, the John Woodens or Bill Belichicks of the world.
So I dug in, I scoured the internet and read everything out there about Alex Cora. I watched every interview and I poured through every resource I could find.
I learned some pretty cool stuff…