Former Red Sox infielder Alex Cora is coming back to Boston. The Red Sox announced on Sunday that they have hired Cora as their new manager and replacement for John Farrell. The 42-year-old played three and a half seasons in Boston and was a member of the 2007 World Series championship squad.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be named manager of the Boston Red Sox and I want to thank Dave [Dombrowski], John Henry, Tom Werner, and Sam Kennedy for giving me such a tremendous opportunity,” Cora said in a statement. “Returning to the Red Sox and the city of Boston is a dream come true for me and my family and I look forward to working towards the ultimate goal of winning another championship for this city and its great fans.”
Cora made his coaching debut this past season as bench coach of the Houston Astros. He helped lead the club to a 101-61 regular season record. En route to the franchise’s second World Series appearance, the Astros beat the Red Sox in a four-game division series.
“At the same time, I want to express my appreciation for Jim Crane, Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch, and the entire Houston Astros organization for giving me the chance to start my coaching career,” Cora said. “It has been a very special season and an incredible organization to be a part of, and I am looking forward to the World Series and winning with this group.”
As for why Cora was the right candidate for the Red Sox, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski cited his ability to communicate and relate to the players, as well as his bilingualism, among other qualities.
“We were very impressed when we interviewed Alex,” Dombrowski said. “He came to us as a highly-regarded candidate, and from speaking with him throughout this process, we found him to be very knowledgeable, driven, and deserving of this opportunity.”
“He is a highly respected and hardworking individual who has experience playing in Boston,” he continued. “Alex also has a full appreciation for the use of analytical information in today’s game, and his ability to communicate and relate to both young players and veterans is a plus. Finally, the fact that he is bilingual is very significant for our club.”
Red Sox principal owner John Henry added: “In Alex we have found a natural leader to guide our clubhouse. He is extremely smart with a dedication to what it takes to be successful in today’s game on the field. His baseball acumen and his ability to think strategically are uncommon for someone his age. We could not have found a better match for our players, our front office and for where we intend to go over the coming years as an organization.”
The team’s chairman Tom Werner also praised Cora for his past experience as a player in the city that has such high expectations and a storied history.
“As someone who has played in Boston and knows what it takes to win here, Alex is uniquely positioned to instill a championship culture,” Werner said. “Baseball is in his blood and we could not be more pleased to have found someone so accomplished to lead our team. Welcome home, Alex.”