Sam Kennedy on OMF: Alex Cora has been 'transformational'

Alex Reimer
May 17, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Red Sox manager Alex Cora did something this week that his predecessor almost never did publicly: he pushed back against one of his players. 

Reliever Carson Smith blamed fatigue for his shoulder subluxation, which occurred when he threw his glove after allowing a home run Monday. But Cora discarded Smith’s explanation, saying the pitcher never complained about being overused. 

One of Farrell’s biggest weaknesses was communication. On OMF Thursday, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy talked about how much Cora’s engaging style has changed the atmosphere around the team.

“Alex has come in, and since Day One, he's had a transformational affect on our clubhouse, front office and players,” Kennedy said. “He's really effective at communication. That's one of his strongest qualities. He had it as a player, and he's had it as a coach, and now as a manager. He's just done a remarkable job. He's a really effective communicator –– direct, transparent, open. It's really important in that role. The results have been there so far, in terms of where we are in the quarter mark of the season. We've been extremely pleased with him and his entire staff. He's done a terrific job.”

Though the 29-14 Red Sox are just .5 games out of first place, they’ve dropped five of their last nine contests, including two to the A’s at Fenway this week. Tuesday night’s affair didn’t get underway until roughly 8:40, due to severe thunderstorms and torrential downpours around Greater Boston. While fans may complain about sitting through extended rain delays, Kennedy said the Red Sox will always try to play the game if possible.

“The general operating principle is, we've got to get the game in,” he said. “You do not want to be playing day-night double-headers; you do not want to have teams have to come back into town and burn a home off-day. It is really difficult, and it is one of the biggest baseball and business challenges we have –– especially in April and May. We try to work as closely as we possibly can with MLB and the visiting team and the weather forecasters, and sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we get it wrong. The other night was difficult.I was frustrated. The forecast changed a few times on us. But ultimately, we got the game in. It was remarkable that we had, from a turnstile count, over 20,000 people here with the miserable conditions.”

Kenendy also addressed whether the Red Sox have discussed discontinuing “God Bless America” at Fenway, since an unnamed “high-ranking team official” told the New York Times he wants to stop playing the song. Kennedy said “God Bless America” isn’t going anywhere, confirming a report from yours truly

“Sports have an opportunity to bring people together, and that's one of the moments that brings people together,” he said. “I know it will continue at Fenway Park and around baseball.”