Red Sox

Alex Cora recalls yelling at reporter, but not like Mets' Mickey Callaway

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Alex Cora recalls yelling at reporter, but not like Mets' Mickey Callaway

BOSTON -- It turns out Red Sox manager Alex Cora yelled at a reporter once. But nothing that rose to the level of Sunday's confrontation between Mets manager Mickey Callaway and a Newsday reporter.

Callaway and Mets reliever Jason Vargas shouted profanity at Newsday's Tim Healey following a loss to the Cubs. Callaway was reportedly incensed over Healey telling him, "See you tomorrow," and Vargas jumped to his manager's defense moments later by threatening to knock Healey the bleep out.

Cora has had no such incidents in Boston, though he does remember one in 2008 as a player.

"We had a 10-game losing streak and someone was laughing at the end of the (clubhouse) in Arizona and I said hey man, can you keep it down, please? Out of respect?" Cora said, adding that he didn't explode like Callaway.

"Not that way," he said.

Because baseball managers answer so many daily questions — they conduct press conferences before and after every game, can also be available for one-on-one interviews during batting practice, and often have daily radio and TV responsibilities as well — the potential exists for a query that rubs the skipper the wrong way.

Cora maintains his composure better than most, but he felt for Callaway, who had just endured a flurry of questions about why he didn't summon closer Edwin Diaz for a five-out save.

"They asked the question nine times," Cora said. "Nine times. It was the same question nine times. He's not going to change the answer. If he's not going to use the reliever for five outs, after the third question, I get it. I know you've got a job to do, but at the same time, it's not that easy, especially right after the game."

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How Bobby Bonilla Day can save MLB's ongoing salary dispute

How Bobby Bonilla Day can save MLB's ongoing salary dispute

If baseball wants to solve its impasse over player compensation during the pandemic, here's a thought — make Bobby Bonilla Day a holiday.

Bonilla is the former Mets slugger who struck an incredible deal as his career wound to a close.

In exchange for waiving the final $5.9 million he was owed in 2000, Bonilla agreed to receive 25 payments of roughly $1.19 million every July 1 from 2011 through 2035.

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Why trade $6 million in 2000 for nearly $30 million later? Because Mets owner Fred Wilpon intended to invest the money with Bernie Madoff, whose funds consistently delivered massive returns. We now know Madoff was running the world's biggest Ponzi Scheme, and when his $64 billion fraud collapsed in 2008, it took hundreds of millions of Wilpon's money with it.

What's bad for him was good for Bobby Bo, however. Every summer, the six-time All-Star receives a check for over a million dollars, payments that will continue until he's 72. (The Mets, it should be noted, also agreed to make 25 annual $250,000 payments to Bret Saberhagen for similar reasons, starting in 2004.)

Here's where the current contentiousness enters the picture.

The owners want the players to take a massive pay cut in exchange for a season, arguing they can't afford to play in empty ballparks without salary concessions. The players don't want to return a penny, and in fact hope to play more than the proposed 82 games to make as much of their prorated salaries as possible.

One solution is deferrals. The players agree to put off some portion of their earnings, allowing ownership to maintain cash flow in the short term before the game's economics hopefully stabilize in the future.

And what better day to do it than Bobby Bonilla Day? Every July 1 starting next year, the players can receive a portion of their 2020 salary. Maybe it's paid in installments over three to five years, or maybe it's a lump sum.

However it's done, it could represent a meaningful olive branch from the players and a signal that they're willing to compromise in these unprecedented times.

The value for the owners is clear, because Wilpon isn't the only one who sees the allure of deferrals. The World Series champion Nationals prefer them as a rule, deferring not only $105 million of Max Scherzer's $210 million contract, but even $3 million of the $4 million they gave reliever Joe Blanton in 2017.

With players and owners at each other's throats, it could be disarming to invoke one of the game's stranger annual curiosities. And if it helps us play baseball in 2020, there's also this: Open the season on July 1 and make Bobby Bonilla Day, for one year anyway, a national holiday.

Who are the best right fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best right fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Corner outfielders for the Red Sox have vastly different responsibilities. 

While left fielders have to learn how to play with the Green Monster at their backs, right fielders are tasked with covering an immense amount of ground with some quirky angles —duties which require not just a mobile defender, but a fearless one. A strong arm helps, too, lest the turnstiles between first and third just spin all game.

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Fortunately for the Red Sox, there have been no shortage of exceptional right fielders over the years, including a number who didn't make our top five, like Dirt Dog Trot Nixon; postseason heroes J.D. Drew and Shane Victorino; and Earl Webb, whose 67 doubles in 1931 remain one of the longest-standing single-season records in the game.

The final list includes a Hall of Famer, two MVPs, a hometown hero, and one of the franchise's longest tenured stars.

Click here for the Top 5 right fielders in Red Sox history.