Red Sox

Alex Cora knows players don't automatically like a new manager

Alex Cora knows players don't automatically like a new manager

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Alex Cora doesn’t have to so openly acknowledge the player mindset when a new manager arrives. But in the early going of his tenure as Red Sox manager, he’s offered what feels like a refreshing dose of honesty in his media sessions.

Yeah, you know what? Some players do look over the new guy with perhaps a dubious eye. Always have, always will. That’s how it is, so why pretend differently?

“Honestly, I feel very comfortable with the group,” Cora said. “It seems like the coaching staff helps me out in that sense. We have guys that have been part of this organization before, veteran guys like Ron [bench coach Ron Roenicke]. That’s going to help me. I don't expect them to quote-unquote ‘like me’ right away. Obviously as a player, I know I went through that process and it's always like, 'Let's see how he acts. Let's see what he brings to the table.' I'm comfortable. I'm comfortable with the situation, and comfortable with the group and this is going to work.”

He wasn’t sure as of Tuesday what message he would deliver when the team first arrives. He could have simply said, it’s a secret, but hey, he’s thinking it through. 

“Bear with my Spanglish,” Cora joked. “That’s very important. No, not yet. I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been here for a week and I’m going back and forth, how to address the team. Do I wait for everybody to be here, do I talk to pitchers and catchers tomorrow. I don't know. Like I said my style is yet to be determined but one thing for sure, enjoy the process. Relax through it. That’s very important, because the more you enjoy it and more relaxing the environment, the better it’s going to be for you. That’s going to be part of it.”

He’s not tipping his hand everywhere, though. The question of playing time behind the plate will linger. Will Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon were divided up based on the pitcher in the past. But Vazquez could enter a lead role in 2018.

“I anticipate that we’re going to have a great defensive catcher, a general behind the plate that is going to execute the game plan,” Cora said. “Both of them are capable. On a daily basis we’ll see. And both are really really good. I know they don’t get enough credit offensively, but they can do a lot of things offensively that can also help our team. We’re going to be well covered on a daily basis behind the plate.”


The Baseball Show Podcast: J.D. Martinez on pace for monster season

The Baseball Show Podcast: J.D. Martinez on pace for monster season

Lou Merloni and Red Sox insider Evan Drellich debate and discuss some of the week's biggest Red Sox topics, presented by Twin River Casino. . .

0:22 - With a pair of homers on Sunday vs. the Orioles, J.D. Martinez continued his hot streak and is on pace to surpass the team's expectations of him. Lou and Evan discuss Martinez's power to all fields and how his hitting approach has had a positive impact on his teammates.

6:44 - Lou and Evan break down the ugly situations for Carson Smith, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Blake Swihart and discuss what the club can do to deal with the struggles of all three players.

13:40 - Evan and Lou go around the horn and look at a few headlines from around the league: Robinson Cano's 80-game suspension, the Cubs interest in Manny Machado and Dustin Pedroia's nearing return to the Red Sox.



J.D. Martinez's 2 vastly different HRs lead Red Sox past O's

AP Photo

J.D. Martinez's 2 vastly different HRs lead Red Sox past O's

BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez took plenty of ribbing in the dugout after slicing a short home run inside the Pesky Pole at Fenway Park.

A few innings later, he showed his teammates some serious power.

Martinez hit two vastly different drives for his first multihomer game with Boston, powering Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox to a rare 13-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

It was the most hits Boston has allowed in a shutout since at least 1908, the team said.

Signed to a $110 million, five-year deal as a free agent in February, the 30-year-old Martinez curled his first home run an estimated 324 feet around the right-field foul pole. He hammered his second - projected at 443 feet - to the deepest part of the ballpark, beyond the center-field triangle, for his 15th of the season.

"They were making me laugh," Martinez said, standing in the middle of the clubhouse with a smile on his face. "I said, `I've got to get even for some of the ones I hit in April when it was cold out and I thought I crushed some and they weren't even going anywhere.' They were definitely teasing me, but I'll take it."

When reminded about the distance of his second one, he said: "I let `em know."

Martinez drove in three runs, and Andrew Benintendi had a two-run homer among his three hits as the Red Sox won three of four in the series to improve to 6-1 against Baltimore this season.

Red Sox teammate Mookie Betts is impressed by Martinez's power to the opposite field.

"I don't know if anybody else can do what he does, so that's why he's one of a kind," Betts said. "He can also hit it out of any part of the park, too."

The Orioles got 13 hits but lost for the 15th time in 16 road games and dropped to a major league-worst 4-19 away from Camden Yards. Adam Jones had three of Baltimore's 12 singles.

"It's hard to get 13 hits and not score any runs," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's frustrating."

Rodriguez (4-1) scattered nine hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter in 5 2/3 innings.

Leading 1-0 in the fifth, the Red Sox chased David Hess (1-1) and took charge with four runs. Benintendi hit his shot into the Orioles' bullpen after Jackie Bradley Jr.doubled leading off.

Mitch Moreland doubled before Martinez belted his second homer of the day. His first came in the second inning.

Hess gave up five runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in his second major league start.

"They definitely make some adjustments quick and you have to be able to adjust just as quick," he said. "That's a lineup that from top to bottom can do damage."


Orioles: 1B Chris Davis was out of the lineup because he's been struggling against left-handers, batting only .139 (5 for 36). ... Showalter said Jones exited in the seventh because he was sick.

Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora gave DH-1B Hanley Ramirez, in a 5-for-26 slump with no extra-base hits in his last six games, the day off "to work on a few things and keep him off his feet." ... Cora did the same for shortstop Xander Bogaerts, saying: "I think he only had like one off day since coming back from the DL." Bogaerts was sidelined April 9-27 with an injured left ankle. ... 2B Dustin Pedroia (recovering from offseason left knee surgery) was slated to be the DH in a rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket.


Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski played a foul ball that sailed into his box behind home plate on the bounce, picking it up from a tabletop in front of him. Next to him was former Red Sox right fielder Dwight Evans, who won eight Gold Gloves during his career.


Martinez and Betts became the first pair of players in Red Sox history with 15 or more homers in the first 50 games of a season.


The Red Sox improved to 14-1 in series finales.


Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-5, 4.83 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox.

Red Sox: After an off day, LHP Chris Sale (4-1, 2.29) pitches Tuesday at Tampa Bay. Sale has allowed three or fewer runs in all 10 of his starts.