Red Sox

Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

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Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

From Comcast SportsNetCORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with "unethical conduct" when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes' athletic department with its notice of allegations, said two people familiar with the situation.The people spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami have announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It's unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.The NCAA does not comment on ongoing investigations. Miami officials have said throughout the investigation, which started in 2011, that the school is cooperating with the NCAA and will decline extensive public comment out of respect to that process.The people told the AP that Miami still has not seen a final version of the notice of allegations, the arrival of which will essentially bring just the first chapter of this Miami-NCAA saga to a close. Several people involved with the process have either reviewed draft documents or been advised of their upcoming mentions in telephone calls with investigators. Most of those calls took place last week.Another individual who was interviewed during the joint inquiry told the AP that the NCAA has not been in contact since. That suggests not everyone who at one time was thought to be under investigation will not actually be mentioned in the notice of allegations.Earlier this month, Miami coach Al Golden said he did not expect the university to be surprised by the NCAA's findings. Several people involved in the investigation said Miami has had representation at many interviews the NCAA conducted with persons it found to be of interest.A CBSSports.com report published Monday said that the NCAA could not prove former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro's claim that former Miami men's basketball coach Frank Haith or a member of his Miami staff paid 10,000 to the family of former Hurricanes' player DeQuan Jones. Shapiro has said that he provided that money.Jones was suspended by Miami last season after Shapiro's claims were published in August 2011 by Yahoo Sports, then ultimately allowed to return to the team.CBSSports.com also said Haith will face the "unethical conduct" charge because of inconsistencies the NCAA found in his account of Jones' recruitment. CBSSports.com also said Haith will be charged with "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance" because relatives of two players were given impermissible airline travel."The University has been in communication with the NCAA regarding their ongoing efforts related to the University of Miami investigation," Missouri said in a statement. "Coach Haith and the University of Missouri continue to cooperate fully. However, we are not at liberty to comment further out of respect for the NCAA process."One of those players, current senior Reggie Johnson, was suspended for a game last season after Miami and the NCAA found members of his family accepted what they called "impermissible travel benefits." And guard Durand Scott, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, was for the end of last season and the start of this season after he was also found to have gotten unspecified extra benefits.Whenever the actual letter arrives, Miami's receipt of the notice of allegations will usher in the start of the sanctions phase.And that could take months -- meaning actual penalties may not be handed down until this summer, or later.Typically, schools and individuals named in the notice of allegations have 90 days to file a response to the NCAA's findings, all of which would be reviewed by the committee on infractions -- which operates separately from the NCAA's investigative arm.Some of the sanctions have already gone into effect, since they were self-imposed. Miami's football team has missed three postseason games -- two bowl games and what would have been an appearance in this season's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game -- in response to the investigation, and Golden is holding back a number of scholarships from the 2013 roster as well.Shapiro, the former booster, is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for masterminding a 930 million Ponzi scheme. Virtually all of the individuals who were named by Shapiro in his detailed claims that were published by Yahoo Sports are no longer at the university, and several of the people to whom the NCAA wanted to talk simply refused during the inquiry.The NCAA inquiry started several months before that August 2011 article.

As Red Sox manager, Cora must keep conviction, honesty that got him job

As Red Sox manager, Cora must keep conviction, honesty that got him job

BOSTON -- Just as a batter can subconsciously play to avoid losing, rather than to win, a manager can operate with a fear of failure. Such an unwitting approach may have contributed John Farrell’s downfall, and is an area where Alex Cora can set himself apart.

A lot has been written about the value of authenticity in leadership. It’s one thing to have the charisma and conviction needed to land a position of power. It’s another to take over a pressure-cooker job, like manager of the Red Sox, and carry the fortitude to stay true to yourself, continue to let those qualities shine.

Cora did not appear to pull any punches in his days with ESPN. The 42-year-old engaged in Twitter debates with media members and fans. And throughout his baseball life, he showed his colors.

Via Newsday’s Dave Lennon, here’s a scene from 2010 when Cora was with the Mets: 

Last year, Cora spoke out against the league office's rule requiring minorities always be interviewed.

Perhaps most interesting of all, when Chris Sale cut up White Sox jerseys, Cora was Dennis Eckersley-like in his assessment:

“What he did is not acceptable,” Cora said of Sale. “If I’m a veteran guy, I’m going to take exception. if I’m a young guy, I’m going to take exception. Because as a young guy on a team that is actually struggling right now, somebody has to show me the ropes of how to act as a big leaguer. And this is not the way you act as a big leaguer. Forget the trades, forget who you are.

“What you do in that clubhouse, you got to act like a professional. And that’s one thing my agent, Scott Boras, used to tell me when I got to the big leagues: act like a professional. Chris Sale didn’t do it. He’s not showing the veterans that you respect the game. He’s not showing the rookies how to be a big leaguer, and that’s what I take exception to.”

Take out Chris Sale’s name from the above quotation and insert David Price’s. Describes Price's incident with Eckersley perfectly, doesn't it? 

Now, no manager can say what they’re really thinking all the time. Cora’s not in the media anymore. His new job description is different. 

But when you consider the great success of Terry Francona -- and why he succeeded in this market beyond simply winning -- what stands out is how comfortable Francona appears in his own skin. How genuine he seems. 

There is a way to acknowledge, as a manager, when something is off. A way to do so gently but genuinely. A way to say what you feel -- and a way to say what you feel must be said -- while operating without fear of the players you manage. 

Ultimately, most every comment Francona makes is intended to shield his players. But Francona shows his personality as he goes (or if you want to be a bit cynical, he sells his personality marvelously). Those little self-deprecating jokes -- he charms the hell out of everyone. The media, the fans. The Cult of Tito has a real following, because he feels real. Because he is real. 

Farrell was not fake. But he did have a hard time letting his personality come across consistently, to his detriment. He was reserved, in part because that just appeared to be his nature. But the job must have, with time, forced him to withdraw even further. As everything Farrell said (and did) was picked apart in the market, it likely became easiest just to play it safe in every facet -- speaking to the media, speaking to players.

The Sox’ biggest undertaking in 2017 seemed to be a nothing-to-see-here campaign. It was all fine. No David Ortiz, no home runs, no problem. Manny Machado was loved. The media was the problem, not any attitude or attitudes inside the clubhouse. Base running was a net positive -- you name it, none of it was ever tabbed as a problem publicly by the manager, or anyone else.

A perpetually defensive stance was the public image. Issues were never addressed or poorly defused, so questions always lingered.

Maybe Cora cannot admonish Sale as he did a year ago now that he’s managing Sale. Not publicly, anyway. But even as a quote-unquote player's manager, the job still requires authority, which should be doled out just as it was earned: through authentic comments and actions.

"My job as the manager is to set the culture, the expectations, the standards, the baseball," Cora’s present boss, Astros manager A.J. Hinch, said the night the Astros clinched the pennant. "It's the players' job to develop the chemistry.

“And obviously good teams always say that, we want chemistry, and what comes first, the chemistry or the winning. But when you have it, you want to hold on to it as much as possible . . . We've got a good thing going because we have one common goal, we have one common standard, and that's to be your best every day."

Cora has to remain true to his best, too -- not what he thinks, and hears, and reads, people want his best to be.

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.