USA Today Sports

Red Sox pick family over Yankees (for one night)

Rob Bradford
September 28, 2018 - 11:47 pm

East Bridgewater football is rarely going to win out over the Red Sox vs. Yankees, even if you're simply a paying customer.

But it did Friday night. Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski made sure of it.

Early Friday Dana LeVangie got the call from Cora telling him the team didn't want the pitching coach showing up for the series opener against the Yankees. There was something more important to tend to -- Liam LeVangie's game against Norwell.

A few days earlier Cora had met with starting pitchers Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price to discuss a topic which had come up earlier in the week. Liam LeVangie, the quarterback for the Vikings, was leading his East Bridgewater squad in a Friday night game. It could be the last time in a long time that Dana got a chance to see his son play high school football.

"He’s a workaholic. We all know how hard he works here," said Cora of LeVangie. "He’s the first one here and the last one to leave. It was his only chance this season to see him play. We felt it was good to see him play. For me, it was very important for him.

"David, Chris and Rick, I talked to them and I was like this is going on and they were like, ‘He has to go. We want him to go.’ Then I talked to Dave. It was very important for him to be there. I know it means a lot to him and it means a lot to all of us."

So while Liam was starring in what would be a heart-breaking 36-35 loss to Norwell, Cora was trying to do double-duty as the Red Sox' pitching coach.

As it turned out, the manager had to make one trip to the mound that didn't involve taking out the pitcher. It was a visit that was remembered slightly differently by Cora and pitcher Brian Johnson.

"He just said to slow down and try and get Luke Voit," Johnson said. "Don't feel like I had to give in with Didi (Gregorius) on deck."

The manager's version? "I was an (expletive) pitching coach. It was weird," Cora said. "I didn’t know what to say. I said, ‘Get this guy out.’"

When it was all said done, the Red Sox suffered an 11-6 loss to the Yankees, but all things considered came away with the kind of satisfaction a meaningless game in late September couldn't really offer, win or lose. (For a complete recap of the Sox defeat, click here.)

"(LeVangie) was a little hesitant, but then he mapped it out and was alright," Cora said. "I’m glad he went."