Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts reveals what he's looking for in next Red Sox manager

Xander Bogaerts reveals what he's looking for in next Red Sox manager

The Boston Red Sox need a new manager, and that's a pretty unusual situation to be in with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in about a month.

The Sox and manager Alex Cora mutually agreed to part ways earlier this week after Major League Baseball released its report on the Houston Astros illegally stealing signs over the last few years. Cora was the Astros' bench coach in 2017 before joining the Red Sox to become their manager beginning with the 2018 campaign. Cora, according to the league's investigation into the Astros, played a key role in creating and implementing Houston's sign-stealing system.

Not only must the Red Sox confront the challenge of doing a managerial search so close to spring training, they're also competing with the Houston Astros and New York Mets for the top candidates. The Astros fired manager A.J. Hinch after the MLB suspended him through the 2020 World Series, and the Mets and Carlos Beltran agreed to part ways Thursday after he was the only Astros player mentioned in the league's investigation into Houston.

The first notable Red Sox player to react publicly to Cora's departure was Xander Bogaerts, who met with reporters before Thursday's BBWAA dinner. What kind of qualities is Bogaerts looking for in the next manager? His response didn't require many words.

Bogaerts really enjoyed playing for Cora, and he did little to hide his feelings about what's transpired over the last few days.

“Obviously, it’s very unfortunate," Bogaerts told reporters. "I know he’s someone that we all enjoyed playing for, and I loved to just sit and have nice conversations with him baseball-wise. He’ll be someone that we’ll definitely miss a lot, me especially. (I had) such a great relationship with him.”

Bogaerts also noted the positive impact Cora had on his career. The star shortstop set career highs with 33 home runs, 117 RBI, a .384 on-base percentage and 190 hits in 2019 -- Cora's second season as Red Sox manager.

“I think he helped me get to the other level that I was trying to reach," Bogaerts said. "I’m very thankful for him. Always was a fan of him as a person, especially when he was doing the TV stuff and when he was in Houston. Just seeing him on the field -- just such a smart baseball guy, and when he came over here he just pushed all of us to heights that we obviously wanted to reach."

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Brock Holt: 'I never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform'

Brock Holt: 'I never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform'

Brock Holt has left the Boston Red Sox, but it certainly doesn't seem like he wanted to.

The super-utility player became a free agent and the Red Sox opted not to re-sign him as they looked to cut costs ahead of the 2020 season. So, Holt, who turns 32 in June, lingered for a while on the free-agent market after seven seasons with the Red Sox before ultimately agreeing to a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

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And in an interview after arriving at the Brewers camp in Arizona, Holt spoke about wanting to remain in Boston and never expecting to go anywhere else in his career.

"I was with Boston for so long and I honestly never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform," Holt said in a video captured by Scott Grodsky. "I loved it there. I loved playing at Fenway, I loved the fans, I loved the city. I was a huge part of the community so it was tough for me to come to the fact that I wasn't going back.

"But like I said, everything happens for a reason. I'm excited to be here."

This will tug at the heartstrings of the Boston faithful, as Holt was a fan favorite and a great force in the Red Sox locker room and community. He will certainly be missed by the team, and it is fair to wonder why Sox management decided not to at least try to match the one-year deal Holt got from Milwaukee. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Holt made $3.575 million with the Red Sox last season.

After all, they opened up some room under the luxury tax by trading Mookie Betts and David Price. So, why not use some of that to re-sign Holt?

Holt will now suit up for the Brewers and as he communicated to reporters, he is very much looking forward to playing at Fenway June 5-7 when the Brewers visit for an interleague series.

And he's sure to get a warm welcome when he returns.

Who J.D. Martinez will celebrate home runs with now that Brock Holt is gone from the Red Sox

Who J.D. Martinez will celebrate home runs with now that Brock Holt is gone from the Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox suffered a big loss when it was announced that Brock Holt would be signing with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Holt was a great super-utility player who could play almost every position on the diamond in a pinch. In addition, he was a fantastic locker room presence and did a lot off the field to help organizations such as the Jimmy Fund.

There's no doubt that the Red Sox will miss Holt on and off the field. But J.D. Martinez may miss Holt most of all.

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Martinez had a post-homer celebration that he always did with Holt. Holt would swarm Martinez after every home run the slugger blasted, and Holt would wrap him up in a bear hug and jump around the dugout.

But with Holt now gone, who will Martinez celebrate with?

"That’s a good one," Martinez said when asked about the topic by MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. "Whoever’s there. I don’t know."

It's certainly going to depress Red Sox fans not to see Martinez celebrate homers with Holt anymore. But as Martinez noted, that's just part of the business of baseball.

"You wish him the best," Martinez said of Holt to Cotillo. "He was a character in here. He was fun to be around. You wish him the best, but that’s the business side of it."

Holt posted a farewell to Red Sox fans on Wednesday that reflected on the relationships he built in seven years in Boston that went beyond baseball for the native Texan.

That business side of baseball is something that Red Sox fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with and Holt's departure and absence from Martinez's home run celebration will only add to their growing discontent.