Alex Cora isn’t one of those managers who maintains a distance from his players.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez revealed the depth of his relationship with Cora on Thursday, telling SiriusXM MLB Network Radio the manager plays many roles in shaping his career and life. Their professional relationship dates back to 2018, Cora’s wildly successful debut campaign as Red Sox manager and has blossomed into a strong bond over the last few years.
“… He’s like a father, brother, manager,” Rodriguez said. “I could call it like ‘hermano’ to me because of everything we’ve been through in 2018, 2019 … . This year I’ve been in a grinder a lot of times, and he has been there to push me. We even kind of have discussions as brothers.
“It’s amazing to have a manager like that, the guy you can trust to talk and tell him how you feel and be honest with him and all that. I know everybody on the team feels that way, and it’s great to have a guy like that on the team.”
Cora’s return has been one of the biggest reasons the surprisingly good Red Sox are in prime position to secure a spot in the MLB playoffs in 2021.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is struggling to return to the peaks he hit in 2019, when he was a Cy Young Award contender. His bond with Cora might be more meaningful than ever, as strong leadership can help any athlete endure the inevitable valleys he or she encounters in a career.
Should Rodriguez pitch effectively in the coming days and weeks, one must give Cora some credit for skillfully managing him through good times and bad.
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