Alex Cora expanded his usual managerial responsibilities earlier this week when he stumped for his shortstop’s American League All-Star vote count.
During an interview with MLB Network Radio, the Red Sox manager elaborated on how impressed he’s been with shortstop Xander Bogaerts following the team’s decision to give him a new contract in March.
“We made a big commitment with Xander after opening day, and he understands what that means,” Cora said of Bogaerts’s new contract, which worth $120 million. “He’s been amazing to us.”
So far in 2019, Bogaerts has been one of the American League’s best-hitting shortstops with a .300 average and 14 home runs. His 23 doubles leads the league.
Still, Bogaerts is currently occupying sixth place among fan votes for the midsummer classic, trailing Twins counterpart Jorge Polanco by more than 400,000 votes in the last official tally. Voting in “The Primary” ends on Friday at 4 p.m.
Cora voiced his frustration that Bogaerts isn’t doing better at the polls.
“I know I can’t get involved in the voting, but what I saw yesterday, I was a little bit disappointed because this kid is one of the best shortstops in the league, and if you look at his numbers, what he’s doing, it’s amazing,” said Cora.
Bogaerts has also sounded less than pleased when asked about the voting.
“These past few years every time I’ve come up just short even though my numbers have been up there or better than most of the guys,” Bogaerts told WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “It’s just so weird. I just miss out when in my opinion I should have been there. I just feel like it’s a routine, every year the same thing. It’s kind of getting annoying. But I don’t know what to do.”
Regardless, Cora likes what he sees from Bogaerts on the field.
“He’s been a force, he’s been great and I’m proud of him,” Cora said. “I’m happy that he’s my shortstop.”
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) June 18, 2019
The final round of voting for the MLB All-Star Game concludes at 2 p.m. on June 27. The game will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.