Oct 18, 2018

Former Mets Infielder & Current AL Chanpion Red Sox Manager: Alex Cora (2009-2010)

Jose Alexander Cora was born on October 18, 1975 in Caguas, Puerto Rico. After high school in Puerto Rico he attended the University of Miami where he was named to the College World Series all-tournament team in both 1995 and 1996.

Alex Cora is a member of the Miami Hurricanes Sports Hall of Fame (2006 inductee).

He was then selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third round of the 1996 draft being rated by Baseball America as the best collegiate defensive player.

He made brief appearances with the Dodgers in 1998 & 1999 before becoming the team’s regular short stop taking over the position from Mark Grudzielanek. Cora held the position from 2000 through the 2002 season. He also began to play more at second base & moved over to that position from 2003-2004.

After never hitting better than .238 in a season he had a career year at the plate in 2001 batting .291 with a .371 on base %.

Trivia: In 2004 he had a 18 pitch at bat against Matt Clemet of the Chicago Cubs, fouling off 14 straight pitches. It is the 3rd longest at bat on record since records were kept of pitch counts in the mid eighties. His brother made the joke, he & friend were watching the game in a bar. When the at bat began they had their first beer. By the time it was over they were so drunk they had to call a cab.

More Trivia: Cora played in two of the longest games in MLB history. The first a 4 1/2 hour marathon game in 001 as a member of the Dodgers. The second in 2006, in the second game of a double header while with the Red Sox. That game was a 4 hour 45 minute game.

In 2004 Cora made his first post season batting .133 in the upsetting series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2005 he signed with the Cleveland Indians but was traded that July, to the Boston Red Sox for Ramon Vazquez. He spent the next four seasons as a reserve infielder with the Red Sox, getting to three more post seasons including a 2007 World Series Championship over the Colorado Rockies.

Mets Career: In November 2008 he was signed by the New York Mets. But he was quickly granted free agency & then was resigned again, all in the same month. 

Cora saw action in 82 games with the Mets taking over at short stop when Jose Reyes went down with injury. Cora began the year batting well enough to stay at .300 into early June. His average fell as the season went, on as he finished off batting.251 with one HR 11 doubles & 18 RBIs.

In August, he had eleven hits & drove in six runs in a ten game span, before going down with injury for the rest of the year. In 56 games he posted a .976 fielding % while turning 36 double plays. He also also played 19 games at second base.

In 2010 he returned to batting in the leadoff spot. He got the start on Opening Day, while playing at short stop & driving in a run, as Jose Reyes was still not ready to play. This time Cora struggled out of the gate, not getting over .200 until mid May. On May 23rd he singled off CC Sabathia in the subway series, driving in the first two runs of the Mets & Johan Santana's 6-4 win.

On July 2nd, he had his biggest run production day in his short Mets career. Cora hit a bases clearing triple in a game against the Washington Nationals leading to a 5-3 Mets win. Three days later he doubled & drove in two more runs in a 8-6 Mets loss to the Cincinnati Reds. By August 7th he was only batting .207 & the Mets released him.

Cora finished up his 2010 Mets season with 62 games played, six doubles, three triples, 20 RBIs & four stolen bases.

He signed with the Texas Rangers playing in just four games before released in early September. For 2011 he was signed by the Washington Nationals where hit .224 in 91 games playing as a utility infielder. He signed minor league deals with the St. Louis Cardinals & Detroit Tigers but never made it to their big league squads.

In his 14 year career Alex Cora batted .243 with 828 hits 35 HRs 140 doubles 39 triples & a .310 on base %.

Broadcasting Career: After his playing days Cora became an analyst for ESPN working in their Baseball Tonight shows as well as ESPN Deportes. He worked there from 2013-2016.

Coaching / Managing Career: In 2016 Cora was hired as bench coach for the Houston Astros under Manager A.J. Hinch. After a third place finish, the 2017 Astros went all the way winning the teams first ever franchise World Series.

2018 Red Sox: Cora was recognized for his work & was offered the managerial position of the Boston Red Sox, after winning the 2017 ALCS. He signed a three year deal replacing John Farrell.

In his first season as Red Sox manager he ran away with the AL East, setting a franchise record with 108 wins, as the Sox won their third straight divisional title. In the ALDS they crushed their rival AL New York team three games to one, destroying them in a 16-1 romp in Game #3 in New York.

In the ALCS he faced off against his old team mates, the Houston Astros. He was thrown out of Game #1 for arguing balls & strikes. Cora's Sox beat the Astros in five games winning another Championship series on the road. He became the first Puerto Rican Manger to lead a team to the Fall Classic. The Red Sox won their 14th AL Pennant getting to their fourth World Series in the last 15 years.

Family: Alex Cora is the younger brother of Joey Cora who played 11 seasons as a reserve infielder with the Chicago White Sox (1991-1994) Seattle Mariners (1994-1998) & San Diego Padres (1987-1990).

Joey Cora made the 1997 All Star team, played in four post seasons getting as far as the ALCS twice (1995 & 1998). After his playing days he has been a coach under Ozzie Guillen with the White Sox & Miami Marlins.

Family: Alex  his wife Nilda have two children.

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