BOSTON (CBS) — Alex Cora is still three months away from managing his first game for the Boston Red Sox, but he already has big plans for how he’s going to run the clubhouse.
Despite their success on the field, winning back-to-back AL East titles before being ousted in the ALDS, it hasn’t always been sunshine and lollipops for the Red Sox the last few seasons. They’ve had their share of issues both on and off the field, which led to a less-than-ideal environment under John Farrell. It’s part of the reason Farrell was fired in October despite those first place finishes and a World Series crown back in 2013.
Fixing the Boston clubhouse is No. 1 on Cora’s to-do list as he gets ready for his first managerial gig. It’s a process that has already begun, as the new skipper has already started communicating with his players months before they make their way to Fort Myers, Florida for Spring Training. He’s going off what he learned over his 14-year playing career and his lone season as bench coach of the Houston Astros, hoping that a happy work environment leads to success on the diamond.
“I know how I’m going to run the clubhouse and what I expect from the players. The most important thing is this is a good team, talented with a chance to win the World Series, and we’re going to have fun doing it,” Cora recently told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche from the winter meetings in Florida. “It might be music after the game or it might be a championship belt after the game. Stuff like that, I think it really matters.
“They’ll enjoy the season; I don’t want it to be a grind. It’s 162 games and people always say it’s such a grind or it’s a marathon. Let’s have fun doing it,” he said.
Cora knows there will be lumps along the way, whether it’s a player disagreeing with one of his decisions or a lengthy losing streak, and Boston is not the easiest market to play for anyone. But from his nearly 20 years in the majors, he knows what’s most important is that he and his players have to be held accountable for anything they do.
“I know the market isn’t an easy one, but I’m going to tell the guys to embrace it,” he said. “This is a fun place. It’s fun to go to Fenway every day.”