PUERTO RICAN PRIDE ON DISPLAY AS BOSOX INTRODUCE CORA
BOSTON — Alex Cora didn't expect his first chance to manage in the major leagues to come this soon, but the new Red Sox manager he says he's ready to take on the challenge of leading one of its most storied franchises.
Cora, 42, was introduced Monday at Fenway Park as Boston's 47th manager of the Red Sox. The native of Puerto Rico becomes the first minority manager of a club that was the last in the majors to field a black player.
"I've always said the last two years, that I'm a capable manager. It was going to come down to somebody to give me that opportunity," he said. "I never thought that I was getting interviewed because I was a minority. I happen to be."
His father, Jose Cora, was the founder of the Little League in his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico. He died in 1988, and his son still is propped up by the messages he learned from his parents.
"That's what he preached — school and baseball," Cora said. "My mom, she'll be around. … She'll talk baseball with you guys."
A middle infielder on Boston's 2007 World Series championship team, Cora says he sees the job as a return home to "a perfect situation," inheriting a young team coming off back-to-back AL East titles under John Farrell.
Cora presented president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox with a Puerto Rican flag to thank them for sending supplies to aid in Hurricane Maria relief efforts.
"I'm proud to be a Puerto Rican," he said. "You're going to see that flag and you're going to see a lot of fans from back home. … The history I understand and the history throughout the game — there's not too many Latino managers. There's not too many minority managers. But there's 30 capable managers and I'm one of them."
MORE BASEBALL: The Cubs extended qualifying offers to pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis. … The Giants exercised options on left-handers Madison Bumgarner ($12 million) and former Ray Matt Moore ($7 million). … The Jays declined a $17.5 million option on slugger Jose Bautista, who gets a $500,000 buyout.
West Ham ready to give Moyes a chance
West Ham fired coach Slaven Bilic after the team's slide into the English Premier League relegation zone and was set to hand David Moyes an opportunity to rebuild his coaching reputation as the successor. Bilic acknowledged it was a "very logical move" to remove him. Moyes has been out of work since May when he quit Sunderland following its relegation from the Premier League. Before that he was fired by Manchester United and Spanish team Real Socieded.
HIGH SCHOOLS: Vermont became the first state to recognize "ultimate" — the game that started as Ultimate Frisbee — as a high school varsity sport. A committee that oversees high school sports in the state, the Vermont Principals Association, unanimously approved ultimate last week starting in the spring of 2019. Ultimate is played by teams of seven. Players pass a disc until a teammate catches it in the end zone. If the disc is dropped, the other team takes over.