Red Sox

Alex Cora: 'I work in probably the greatest sports city'

Alex Cora: 'I work in probably the greatest sports city'

The city of Boston has had a great year in sports. While the city's grand slam hopes were crushed after the Boston Celtics were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, the team could still have a three-championship year. The Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots have already taken home titles, and the Boston Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Boston fans are excited about the prospect of another championship, but some members of the teams are excited too. Red Sox manager Alex Cora is one of them, and he expressed excitement about the Bruins' chances for a title and the city's overall success in the past year.

"I work in probably the greatest sports city in the States right now," Cora said. "I mean, this is fun. I'm not a hockey fan, but I work here and I got caught up watching hockey yesterday. It's been fun. I think Bruce has done an outstanding job staying in the moment.

"They're in a special situation right now. Hopefully it happens. Having three trophies in the same city at the same time? Wow, that's cool. Hopefully we can have an off day when they play one of the games. I don't think it's going to happen; I already looked."

Considering that the Red Sox are playing 33 of the next 34 days, it seems unlikely that they will get time to see a game. But, the team still offered their support and per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, they had Bruins caps on their locker room chairs ahead of the series with the Astros.

And though the Red Sox may not make it to a Bruins game, Cora indicated that the Bruins could pay a visit to Fenway if they do emerge victoriously.

"Amazing run," said Cora. "You see the vibe of the city. They love their teams here, they love it... hopefully it happens and we can have them here to celebrate here at Fenway."

The Bruins still have to win four more games before the city of Boston can lay claim to three trophies. They will take on either the San Jose Sharks or St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final. Currently, the Sharks hold a 2-1 edge in the Western Conference Final.

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Lou Merloni destroys MLB, players for bickering over 2020 return plan

Lou Merloni destroys MLB, players for bickering over 2020 return plan

As the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLS prepare to resume play in the near future, Major League Baseball still can't get out of its own way.

MLB reportedly rejected the Players Association's proposal Wednesday for a 114-game season in 2020 and apparently doesn't plan to make a counter-offer.

The league and the players have refused to budge on the issues dividing them: Players don't want to take an additional pay cut after agreeing to prorated salaries in March, while the owners are wary of extending the season too long due to the coronavirus pandemic and want players to agree to further reduced salaries to mitigate lost revenue.

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That stalemate has cost MLB valuable time, however, as the league doesn't appear close to beginning its 2020 regular season as the calendar turns to June.

So, who's to blame here? Lou Merloni believes it's everyone involved.

The former Boston Red Sox infielder ripped into both the league and the union Wednesday night during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston.

"Both sides suck, OK? That's the bottom line," Merloni said. "The Players Association comes back and says, 'Not 82 (games), we want 114' when they know that's the non-starter. The owners don't want to sit there and play until November. They're worried about the pandemic; they've got to get the playoffs in. And then the owners come back and say we're not even going to counter?

"Jesus, we're like a month into this thing. Can you string this thing out (any longer)? How about go in one room together and try to figure this out in a day or two?"

Compounding MLB's issue is that the NBA is expected to announce a return-to-play plan Thursday that would resume the 2019-20 season in late July. The MLS and NHL also have made headwinds toward resuming their seasons this summer -- which means baseball is wasting a much-needed opportunity to showcase itself as the only active pro sports league.

"I mean, you're running out of time and you're only screwing yourself. Even if baseball does come back, people have already said, 'I've had enough of you.' It's been like a month, a year, and you guys talk and bitch about this thing publicly. I don't give a crap anymore. I've got hockey, basketball, football is around the corner, hell, soccer is around the corner. I'm good.

"They don't even realize it! It's like they're in this bubble and they don't even realize what's going on around them right now. Figure this thing out: 70 games, 65, prorated (salaries), start playing some baseball, because your ass better be first coming back. If not, people are going to be done."

There's reportedly some optimism that the players and the union will resolve their differences and put a return plan in place. But with nearly one-third of the season already lost, the clock is ticking.

Check out Merloni's full comments in the video player above.

Who are the best designated hitters in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best designated hitters in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

There's only one choice for best designated hitter in Red Sox history, but just in case there's any doubt, we'll quote broadcaster Dave O'Brien with the signature call from his WEEI days: "DAVID ORTIZ! DAVID ORTIZ! DAVID ORTIZ!"

No sense in even pretending there's any suspense on this one.

What's fascinating about ranking the Red Sox DHs, however, is just how few of them have actually held down the position for any length of time over the years.

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Only nine players have made at least 200 appearances there with the Red Sox since the DH was introduced in 1973, and four of them — Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, and Manny Ramirez — have already appeared elsewhere in our outfield rankings.

That leaves five men to fill out the list, and about the only difficult omission is slugger Jose Canseco, who made 184 appearances between 1995 and 1996.

Click here for the Top 5 DHs in Red Sox history.