Red Sox

Alex Cora to lean on veterans for Red Sox rules, possibly tighter dress code

Alex Cora to lean on veterans for Red Sox rules, possibly tighter dress code

For as much as we know leadership in a baseball clubhouse has to come from both a manager and the players, understanding the distribution of duties is a little more difficult, and varies from team to team. Who handles what matters? Does a manager ask some of his most trusted players to handle certain situations?

In explaining his outlook, Cora noted the Sox might have a little stricter, cleaner look when traveling this year.

“I think you give them the space," Cora said in a sit-down with NBC Sports Boston. "Obviously, we’re going to have some rules. Dress codes, and who can be in the clubhouse, all that stuff. … I will get the veterans or the core of the team in my office. Tell ‘em what I want from them, and then they meet and they’ll come back with a set of rules that they feel it’s appropriate for the team, and then we’ll discuss and we go.”

Most teams have a policy on dress when traveling. The Red Sox under John Farrell wore sport coats most of the time, but it was relaxed when it was hot during the summer. That’s par for the course. Some teams have tighter policies when leaving town compared to coming back home.

“I signed with the Dodgers in 1996, and that was an organization that from Double-A on every trip, it was a [must to wear a] sports coat on the road,” Cora said. “Have to wear a collared shirt. Slacks on the road … it was very clean. So I know it’s different now. I know that what for me is a dress shirt for another guy is not. You know we got T-shirts that cost $550, so they feel that’s appropriate. So jeans with holes, they paid $700 for those jeans. Is that appropriate? I don’t know.

“We’ll talk about it. You give them the space and the respect that they’re gonna make good decisions for the benefit of the team and they understand that there’s a manager, there’s a president of baseball operations. We have to all get together, and hopefully, the rules, they stick to it. Well, they have to stick to it. They have to. But [I want to be] flexible enough that they’re comfortable, but strong enough that I feel comfortable.”

Early on, Cora has already found a clever way to send a disciplinary message. Christian Vazquez was on his phone while Cora was speaking to the team at the outset of spring training. Vazquez, like Cora, is from Puerto Rico, and they have a pre-existing relationship. 

Cora tactfully found a way to draw a line, publicly. Vazquez now has to take a few teammates out to dinner, and the matter was handled lightheartedly, but with purpose.

“That’s a message for everybody,” Cora said. "First of all, jokingly but not really like — [it’s funny that] he was the one that had the phone out, because he’s my countryman. And I look around and I’m like, the first thing I thought of was like, ‘Really? Christian?' You know, he was embarrassed which I understand and he apologized.'"

Vazquez knew in the moment he was wrong.

“Kind of like, 'My bad,'” Cora said. “He knew right away. But there’s consequences and, you know, he’s making money, so he’ll take two or three [guys] out to dinner.”


Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor league catcher Oscar Hernandez has been handed a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, our own Evan Drellich reports.

Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January and currently is on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster. The 24-year-old will be able to return in late May.





Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

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Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.

Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.

Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.

The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.

Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.

"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."

Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.

“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”