Alex Cora sounds like he's had enough after a week of think pieces using his team to symbolize the various breakdowns in American society.
After the 2-1 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday, but before the team's Thursday visit to the White House, Cora let reporters know how much it has bothered him to hear his clubhouse described as divided.
With the White House trip being made almost exclusively by white players and the list of those skipping limited to players of color (as well as Cora himself), the manager clearly didn't appreciate the implication that the team was fractured.
So, he sounded defiant when he spoke to reporters after his team pulled back to .500 for the first time since the second game of the season.
"Amazing. Amazing," he said. "You know, like this was very gratifying today. There's been a lot of talk about what's going on tomorrow, the clubhouse being divided, race, politics, whatever. Those kids went out there and they played their heart out. We know who we are in the clubhouse. We know a lot of people doubt that. But like last year, we cancel the noise, we show up every day, and we play. I was watching the game, and I was like, 'You know what, yeah.' It was cool. For everybody that's talking about us, the situation, crushing us throughout the week, well, they played extra innings. They didn't give in."
The game was saved twice, first by Jackie Bradley Jr. with a jaw-dropping leap over the center field fence to rob Trey Mancini of a walk-off homer in the 11th, and then by Heath Hembree, who struck out the side in the 12th.
Bradley is one of the players who won't be visiting the White House. Hembree is an outspoken supporter of President Trump, a fact clearly not lost on Cora.
"You see them in the clubhouse, they're celebrating Heath because of the first save, they're celebrating Jackie, and now, we go," Cora said. "There's a group that's going home, and there's a group going to the White House. And on Friday, we get back – get back to playing baseball."
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