WEEI>On Demand>>Bradford Files: Alex Cora on what it takes to be a Red Sox manager

Bradford Files: Alex Cora on what it takes to be a Red Sox manager

Oct 22, 2012|

Former Red Sox infielder Alex Cora joins Rob Bradford to discuss what traits are important for a manager to succeed in Boston. Cora, who played with the Sox from 2006-08, talks about what a manager should prioritize, why Terry Francona was able to excel, and why Bobby Valentine might have had his problems.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

He needs to move would -- Bradford finals right now phone WEEI they don't go. Welcome to another -- in the Bradford files today we're going to be talking about what it takes to be a manager in Boston it's apropos considering. The Red Sox had just hired their new manager John Farrell. Helping us today break this down his former Red Sox infielder Alex score. Alex I'm just curious why are some of the traits veteran manager in Boston really need to prioritize and win the except the job. Well I think -- the most important thing market like that and okay. -- the -- a lot different then than others out communication is the books as the number one thing -- that you don't have communication. From top to bottom of being in sync with both front. With the media. Although it partly. And and but also I think you know. Quick Agile players it's not an easy place. To perform. But it's people so I bought the are patient. On Utley and the you know and a seven you know it's me. Tito and and and and and do it and Pedroia you know all the people where we're begging for -- you let somebody else. You know. We had the communication. Thing in the same page and it worked at -- you know that have to be you know he's at the same -- it up. Do think with almost three parts you know at the same time you're happy you -- got. Camby. -- -- somebody else somebody that the media wants to be or that the only. It is. It's something -- how we're obviously you know. For for -- what we thought about. The media doesn't on the -- for the -- whatever. You know you'd still cut lip and a little bit for everybody in the same page in the loop -- Because -- the -- up there are so passionate but at the same time. You got beat up -- caught that people outside you know be disappointing Alberto or all of -- should be off so. At the end you know. Something that -- important you know. You know inevitably everybody -- He's going to be. Gotta be honest -- yourself as far as way you know you got to do everything possible out something at anfield and a lot you know I haven't. No way by Cutler or -- pop out or else sick of it make it may make the playoffs. Because -- -- with his -- every detail about what -- a game at a different time and get better for the next. And that's something about people Bangkok. -- Yeah way it's all good points and you know it's interesting to me that. You bring this up 306 was basically the equivalent of what we have now especially that last month it was a little better but. Not much and and you get to the the pinnacle which was 07 so. And and you -- you reached pretty good -- in 08 so I think that you were there for a lot of different scenarios. Just from from where you're sitting -- and you look at some of the things that happened this year from the outside. It in we understand that everyone's different everyone's gonna approach it different. But there were certain things that Bobby Valentine did differently than Terry Francona. From the outside and what were some of the things that you saw they say hey you know what this made me appreciate. What Terry Francona did in the way that he did it. Elevator back -- but for every -- read we thought about it. That's not you know. Some occasion what what there you know I think obviously. -- -- -- -- and things you know respect that but at the same time. -- When you're coming into a situation. Like he did you know. Obviously everybody thought about what happened a number. Even before I think you know. Some bad bad bad. Saint initiated the rule whatever on on it out on a safe bet that I had the right answer whatever it is our excuse. It did it but I would it was with a core of that -- You know the glory of the -- did a better team. And make sure everybody within and pay him at all as -- sign with the Cardinals. I would do. But Myers and just watching them again and I hope it will always been and it didn't seem like everybody was saying hey all I'm not it -- Pointing -- Bobby -- or is potent stuff or even the players. But that's -- -- in I think most of you know it is. It would it would you support. We've been. Do things you know and there and I think the players. We would like you know would love to hear. -- oh what -- we're gonna do it helped. Get things. In. Better and make things better. And that's and I ID -- not -- -- followed that -- belt apart out there I've sort of battle it. -- I mean it obviously I'll. It's working out and it it's a different but I don't like this same mix. Well I'll let our guys would have the young guys you know that I've played in and out -- more important. I think -- the most important thing I don't think. It out from from what happened that you know it and them that we had our -- I saw this game -- -- it -- to people. -- it seemed like hours a day. Occasional what -- You know it's it's and I agree with the -- and the communication is an enormous part of managing in Boston I think it's probably something that wasn't prioritize enough this year. Tom but if you have a couple specific examples where you live through and you can pick -- ever -- that you want to identify and runways but. You were there during the Manny situation you were during -- reference -- first. A month of of 2007 when they're trying to get Pedroia going in your hitting 400 that to help ease that transition. And also if I remember when you were brought in for Julio Lugo as a defense replacement at shortstop which. Which was I huge leap of faith for for Terry Francona. If you wanna take any of those examples of exactly how Terry Francona manage those. And the importance of the communication those instances in a place like Boston. But look at it as well. By far you know. Really you know that way way he handled the -- -- -- law. It was amazing you know to my potential was here in our -- People here you know it will called into the office -- and Gil de LA or what you -- and we got to get it all. That's the most important thing and obviously. You know he works both -- there are players that. -- -- Sacrificed third that are. Older they're personal. Or so success. For the sake of it and I under I understood that part of four -- -- would be a better game. Alex and look where it April but for a one in the World Series. Dustin Pedroia at second base and Alex luck. It. -- -- -- -- Open up more than being an everyday but. You know you'll call it out a great game. About it it's not what you thought. But if the plan you know -- -- -- -- -- I -- that opposite. They knocked everything out of eight. Feet out it was going to be good it. -- a little bit out while hopefully. You know not a lot of how. You know but. There were very may. -- We -- -- it'd -- way way I want whatever it but it'll. Be and it looked at the end. You always didn't aids is so -- that was a great example of communication issue and and then then we should point out also we knew we weren't in specific meetings this year but I think -- overall. -- we do know that there's some instances where. Well the media would come to players and without the players having heard from the manager and that just. You just never heard that in the previous regime and that kind of leads me to my next question is you you you briefly mentioned the media. In regards the importance of the manager being able handle it. What were some examples are or why is it so important that the manager really doesn't control. On Boston specific media issues in I guess we saw a little bit this year but didn't -- you and your time there what's -- what's your take on that. Well I mean you've got one. You know and that's gone from. Different. You want to get the as a that you guys want. I come from different ways as you know. The question and it's probably. -- that matter -- These great straightforward. 11 thing I know it's old Peter Gammons. Good friend of mine and won't respect -- god is like he'd -- -- but -- never say the wrong thing now you know it is. In coordination area now. -- not. Thought about it out there you say you know. And I hope -- air let you know hopefully I'll I'll open it. -- you know everything will figure it out of now that right now this. Well well well going to be fine but -- -- -- that -- figure -- I would -- have you know. And you know we had a lot of issues college in from the cold air away you know people. Ever find. It beyond them one thing that bet -- you know way. That is leader in the club let us believe you know you'll ever thought about. Like I mean it's been like you know. Now a big part of what yeah that's that's why you know we thought about chemistry. And a great atmosphere but what you work for it I am. Know you got your back and now there are a lot there would be up by about eight sometimes you play a little hard but those. You know it's its -- break up another good topic which is the leadership issues you have the leaders. And every one wanted that one leader of those two leaders in. I think we've talked about this before and it's really good -- great dynamic is the ball actually try to mean do you view. Michael Ol Jason Varitek is leading in his way Pedroia is leaving his way Ortiz is leading his way. And so. -- this also curious about how a manager -- approaches that leadership dynamic. And I'll give you an example -- -- one of the things you are always stood out in regards to your leadership. It was Eric Gagne Eric Gagne had a rough time in Boston your good -- to them. And see. -- he blew a couple saves and he didn't talk to the media. And you had kind of made a -- say this is part of the job but responsibility and -- respect I think that does it that one time I remember in Cleveland. Where you failed to get down to keep on and we're in with the media walked in you were standing right in front Neil Walker face and straightforward saying it answer the questions. So when players don't do that obviously the leadership of the team has to comment so my question is how does the manager. In Boston trying to handle or should handle that. And in relying on what to do that. -- so it -- -- brought up on July and a minute and a good memory you got screwed up to speed that's a. -- leadership you know. It is part about you know from you know and now. Although you always thought you know people talk about being my elbow the early a you know. He's in -- like you know put me -- a utility guy. You know you don't get that confidence. And in the and the real life support these people out to be held in the now and then when you have that backup that you that you know you're out here. Make sure they don't be afraid. Over the upgrade. You know there's these young kids -- play in -- approach. It. -- season and how to do things you know you -- comparable in power. You know. The good thing about. David. Certainly the Toledo is the way out I am might help I -- what I've done all that. We we we don't likely you know. Latino you know we we. We have originally we weren't you know Xbox but the Mets -- now and -- but it comes somewhat stop you know pop. And they always. Make sure you know it's not about you know made it it was between -- Say well at the same club you know if we had a meeting. We'll work out that. One perfect example it -- that situation in a way. For the flight to. It's pat. I remember we. -- Remember that well gonna do. I don't remember. Mike Lowell we got him at 7 in the morning for a spring training it worked out to get ready to do our work. And it -- out and it it was brought on. What you got to do you know we have out here are some players will react and -- mark. You know everybody gave us credit that we stick together and now we it will like for everybody. While that bad for that -- -- went back early in the morning with the atmosphere. You know you don't want that backyard that he used that power plant that they've that we were able to -- -- your thoughts. And Jets could point him believe me I'll never forget that because that was that a huge dent my rental car return for that whole morning. Put everyone out of there on a real positive missed the flight to Tokyo. But not you know in view we were talking about managing in Boston. And but you'll also are obviously played other places and I'm interested to see you know the plays everyone to compare as Boston with his New York. Having played in New York what is unique about Boston that might not even be something that the that a manager New York -- ago. Well you know my experience in the -- it would it would it would have been great you know we struggle at the you know. I'd target Asia it is like we have. It can't -- you know double. -- -- it -- -- you create but they don't work out. That thing about -- -- -- obviously got out -- and Matt. The media was always very negative. About art organized -- You didn't like it here in Boston in that outweigh you know I talked to my friends played air it out. A -- bore a look like it hurt him I'll have a negative. Like you know like like that bank credit experience in our. That -- -- -- There's subplot in you know the band that. I did it in the other plays that way and people leave when I was -- Not that they've all you know that you know by. -- -- -- -- You know I'll be able library in the law in all of baseball they know your struggles. And you know you break it though so that's the part that make the story. And I can't I can't explain it up but he is so special. That at this point it's not going to be very very hopeful that way and open media that we lacked. A band that we do things. In the Boston area. Yeah it's it's. It is as as a very good point in and I think that hit when you lose it's always negative but. I've always said the top of the highs in Boston are probably higher than anywhere else and and we've seen below is probably lower than anyone else because. The reality is that people invest a lot of the early money but a lot of time in passion. And and so when things don't go how -- they get pissed off. So. Hit it better. -- -- -- -- -- -- BCA. And watch -- -- -- -- from from where it goes you know watching it on TV whatever. -- say it will let him you know and and I didn't know. But the refs let pat summit fans here you know at the same way -- bad Sasha. Think of -- lately but I would. It yesterday when the Yankees. You know -- opted the Tigers they're reactionary. Like. It directly at where -- end up in the play obstacle to act. It is. It's hard to understand but things aren't that kind of -- -- you know it. You got that -- such such a great fan base you know and they -- and I would every pitch. From the red -- but I think you know every pitch in the big. Yeah you know in. That's why would people of tiger when the time of the managerial opening people go why would people wanna -- him is like ridiculous is -- absolutely ridiculous who he's still. He could have the worst season coming up the worst season have a roster is depleted and everything else. But there's a reason pretty people wanna come here for the exact reasons that you just said. As Nick Punto said I think when he left here said from this even this year he's -- from several attend is no better place to play and I think got. A person whether you're playing your managing probably appreciate that but my last question Alex you mentioned briefly. That you had spent some time in Saint Louis in the Saint Louis camp. And Mike -- was obviously there and get a lot of -- for the inexperience he has a manager. And this I think above everything when he talked about the general conversation. About managers. This is a lightning rod do you need to experience don't you need experience. From your time there what was your take on how he approached that situation. Until I. It was great. The the I can be. I had them better you know and actually a goal and not -- Because although. I'd be in the you know they basically make that the -- You know but the way he handled that whole situation. You know and why. You know and even may yet chances. You know they let it go. Because by the -- bit you know their plans that they wanna do. If it shot back it's not somebody else and just the way street I know I was under -- going there but the way he treated me LP. He understands. I think. Or am probably do that liberty here that Robin. With the White Sox because that. That roster as an RBI Molina. Part of Beltran you know -- guys that had been there before. By. The same time it was very honest with everybody. He Willis. Got a good look at that -- -- -- -- a -- activity out now. Rosenthal LE. It was very -- in here. On the veteran Eric what happened there this year. -- my country but did your parents as they do their thing because it's all about them but at the same time you -- -- -- -- like. Follow the leaders. That we're going to be by the way they you know. My utmost respect for part of it because all though. We know experience you know that way -- spring training and obviously it that. This season is great and you know he's going to be a great thought that. Well you know a guy like dad. Would I -- if if this ever did happen in Boston especially with this group in this dynamic. Won the first things that walking in camp I would imagine that he has to overcome. It's immediately getting respect. Because we saw that was a big problem this year so this is the guy this year who had a ton of managerial experience and and as the season went on the respect was it was an issue. So for a guy who had -- before and didn't have experienced. I would imagine -- everyone's eyes are on him to kind of say hey you know what should respect this guy or shouldn't wait. And I'm just curious when you got to camp could you see right away. That hey you know what this guy is gonna command enough respect the -- from the rookies but from the veteran players. They want rob -- You know I think it came out great at whatever but -- Like that. And there when you have alcohol. Obviously a lot out there you know -- Rookie manager. You know what it's Albert almost hurt cart and that was I really have all of you know it's like -- But there were never like it here now is out there the false hope that they want you know. Wait that would -- may now and you know it was gonna get -- which it was. -- well because we caught it fat -- One -- would that. About horses. Championship you know and also older they want it like my work. -- and -- here and now. Mean you know -- You know I think that if it is that's this is why -- scorer you should be in the managerial pool right now. And and I wanna I wanna tassel like a petition I want to get the word out. That this is the guy that that team should be looking at. And you know I think that as he says there's reasons why that door has opened. Where -- you know outscored not that far out from the game where government in -- -- Mike Metheny you have other guys being interview Brad Ross missed so this is something that I think Alex not too distant future that people are gonna recognize it. You know this that you're a legitimate candidate for to lead a team all for all the reasons you mentioned today. Bag around appreciated what a lot. That topic I got popped out out there are buckled in order it now. I know I will -- You know I have a charity and help my future. -- I have my brother that is not a matter of I think. You know -- talked about it but I always ready to let you know on you know vocal majority and get a chance to Matt -- you know I'd like that shot. That is it. -- great inside Alex I really appreciate him on. --

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