Alex Cora

Alex Cora no longer candidate for Rangers manager job

AlexCoraMets
Torey Lovullo and Alex Cora, two of the eight individuals who interviewed for the Rangers' vacant manager position, have confirmed that they are no longer candidates, per Evan Grant.

Mike Maddux and Steve Buechele, who also interviewed for the position, are also expected not to make the final cut.

That leaves four possible choices -- Tim Bogar, Jeff Banister, Kevin Cash, and Joe McEwing.

Evan says in the blog post linked above that Banister "appears to be gaining momentum," with the Rangers talking to people around the league about Banister over the past week.

My guess is that Bogar, Banister and Cash end up being the finalists, with Bogar ultimately named the manager, though that is just a guess.

Bogar, of course, was the Rangers' bench coach in 2014 until Ron Washington resigned, at which point he took over as interim manager for the final few weeks of the season.  The Rangers played well under his watch, and he's generally been considered the favorite.

Banister is the bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he has worked under manager Clint Hurdle, the Rangers' former hitting coach, and someone who has ties to Jon Daniels and Thad Levine dating back to JD and Levine's days in Colorado.

Cash was a journeyman catcher who spent a lot of time in both the majors and minors, including spending the 2011 season with the Round Rock Express, before becoming Terry Francona's bullpen coach in Cleveland in 2014.

McEwing is the third base coach for the Chicago White Sox.


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(lonestarball.com)
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Rangers interview Alex Cora

AlexCora
The Texas Rangers appeared to conclude their first round of interviews for the vacant managerial position when they spoke with interim manager Tim Bogar and Alex Cora, the Caguas Criollos general manager/manager and ESPN analyst, on Friday.

In all, the Rangers interviewed eight potential candidates to replace Ron Washington, who resigned on Sept. 5.

Bogar took over for Washington and finished 14-8. Bogar was hired last offseason to become the Rangers' bench coach and seems to be the front-runner to be the next manager.

Cora was a finalist for the Seattle Mariners job in 2013. He was a third base coach/bench coach with the Chicago White Sox and Florida Marlins from 2004 to 2012. Cora, who played 14 seasons for four big league teams, has managed in minor leagues systems for the then Montreal Expos and the New York Mets. He also managed a winter ball team in Venezuela.

Whether he gets a second interview is uncertain. Rangers officials had no comment regarding the candidates.

Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, Triple-A manager Steve Buechele, Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo, Pittsburgh bench coach Jeff Banister, Chicago White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing and Cleveland bullpen coach Kevin Cash have also interviewed.


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(espn.com)
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Alex Cora thriving in role as winter league GM

AlexCora
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico - Thirty minutes before first pitch at Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales, Alex Cora is working the rail at the home dugout on the third base side like it's a receiving line at a wedding reception. He stops and greets every player on Los Criollos de Caguas, shaking hands, slapping palms and offering encouragement. If not for the fact that he's in a short-sleeved plaid shirt with a backpack slung over his shoulder, you'd think the smiling 38-year-old was one of the players.

Two years after retiring following a 13-year major league career, and after spending the 2011 season as a reserve infielder with the Nationals, Cora has found another calling. In the twilight of his playing days, managers like Terry Francona and Jim Riggleman said Cora had the innate diamond smarts to make a good coach, perhaps even a major league skipper. But the ink had hardly dried on his retirement papers before Cora - who also acts as an in-studio analyst for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" - accepted a job as the general manager of the Criollos in his hometown in Puerto Rico's central mountains, 30 miles south of San Juan.

The Criollos' former general manager was moving to a role with Liga de Beisbol Professional Roberto Clemente - the official name for Puerto Rico's winter baseball league - and team president Raul Rodriguez offered Cora the opportunity to move into the front office as the team's GM. Cora jumped at the chance and steered the Criollos to the league title as a rookie general manager. Now he's got his sights set on back-to-back crowns, something Caguas hasn't done in its storied 75-year history.

"It's not the normal path, I know. ... But I know a lot about the team. I have the pulse about that clubhouse, probably better than anybody," Cora says while sitting in the Plexiglass-enclosed team officials' box on the stadium's second level as a game against los Gigantes de Carolina gets under way. "For me, it was an easy transition and they made it a lot easier, the players, because they understand friendship is friendship and business is business. They respect me in that sense. You've seen me around - I'm hands-on because I enjoy it. I still feel it."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY.


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(masnsports.com)
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Alex Cora Joins ESPN as MLB Analyst in Multiplatform Role

AlexCoraMets
Here's a release from ESPN announcing that former Boston Red Sox IF Alex Cora will be joining ESPN:

Former Major League Baseball player Alex Cora has joined ESPN and ESPN Deportes as an MLB analyst. Cora will provide insights and analysis for various platforms across both networks, including Baseball Tonight, Beisbol Esta Noche, SportsCenter and other studio programming. He will also contribute to ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio. 

“Television will be an exciting new challenge for me,” said Cora. “I look forward to joining ESPN’s deep bench of analysts to share my insights, experience and passion for baseball with fans and viewers on Baseball Tonight, Beisbol Esta Noche and across ESPN’s various platforms.”

Added Mike McQuade, vice president, production, “Alex is a tremendous acquisition for us. He is well-regarded across baseball as an astute student of the game and prospective manager. His unique combination of major league experience, thoughtful analysis and polished communication skills in two languages will strengthen our baseball coverage across several ESPN platforms.”

Cora, a Puerto Rican native, was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1993 First-Year Player Draft but opted to play for the University of Miami, where he reached the College World Series three times. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996 and made his major league debut on June 7, 1998.

After seven years with the club, Cora signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Indians in 2005. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox midway through the
season. He stayed with Boston for three seasons and won a World Series with the club in 2007. Throughout his 14-year career, he also spent time with the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals. Cora was a solid defensive player (career .976 fielding percentage) and a versatile infielder with strong knowledge of the game and leadership skills.

Most recently, Cora lead Puerto Rico’s Caguas Criollos to the 2013 Caribbean Series in his first year as general manager of the club. Cora previously played for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic – both in 2006 and 2009.


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(beforeitsnews.com)
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Alex Cora: 'Very surprised' Sox Skipped Funeral

AlexCora
Former Red Sox infielder Alex Cora joined Kirk Minihane and Rob Bradford Thursday to express his surprise that only four Red Sox attended the funeral of Johnny Pesky on Monday. 

"I was very surprised," Cora said. "I think what Johnny means and meant to the players and the people in Boston, he was more than just a people person. Just walking into that clubhouse and seeing Johnny smile and greeting you in there and talking about baseball and life in general, he meant a lot, especially to a lot of people in there. I was very surprised to hear that only four players showed up to the funeral." 

The Red Sox had rented buses to take players and staff from Fenway to the church in Swampscott on Monday -- an off-day -- but the player turnout was limited to just David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Vicente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Cora said that if he were on the team, he wouldn't have needed someone to tell him to attend the funeral because it would be obvious that he needed to go. 

"I don't think somebody has to say it," he said. "I think everybody understands what he means to the organization. There are certain things that go beyond an off day. This is a situation that nobody wanted, but it happened. As a person, you've got to put yourself not as a baseball player, but as a person. Your family understands that there's something big going on. … I understand that it's been a tough season, a lot of things have happened, but just a few hours of your day off to pay respects to Johnny, I don't think it's going to hurt anybody. 

"For me personally, if I was in that situation, there's a pretty good chance that nobody would have had to tell me, 'You have to go,'" Cora said. "You take matters into your own hands and do what is right, and that was the right thing to do."


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(weei.com)
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