USA Today Sports

Why Josh Beckett is all in on Alex Cora as Red Sox manager

Rob Bradford
October 26, 2017 - 10:59 am

Josh Beckett saw what Dave Dombrowski did when it comes to Alex Cora, albeit more than 10 years earlier and from a completely different perspective.

Speaking from the Diamond Resorts Invitational Golf Tournament Thursday morning (an event that benefits the Florida Hospital for Children), the former Red Sox pitcher explained why his former teammate, and new Sox skipper, was destined to be heading for the manager's seat.

"I think he will do great," Beckett said. "There were always a few guys you kind of ear-tagged when you played with them, that this guy would make a great manager. I always though Mike Redmond when he was with the Marlins, and I always thought Alex Cora and Mike Lowell would make great managers. You just kind of ear-tag those guys as you go through your career.

"I always thought Alex watched the game differently than the rest of us did. I knew when he became a bench coach and left ESPN, and became the bench coach of the Astros, this was eventually going to happen. I didn't know it was going to be this quick. I thought maybe a couple of years of being back in the game. He was definitely someone I ear-tagged when I played with him that he would make a really good manager."

Cora played with Beckett with the Red Sox from 2006-08, making the postseason in two of those seasons. During that run, Beckett witnessed some qualities in the former infielder that would seemingly translate well to life after playing the game.

"It's the way they watch the game," Beckett explained. "When I watch the game, I'm watching a baseball game. It's almost like they're thinking along with the game. Alex was always really good with dissecting small parts of the game, whether it was a pitcher tipping his pitches, or a guy you could steal on. He always just watched the game like that. I didn't think about it and he was always doing it. You look over at him on the bench and you could tell. He's just thinking about things differently than I was. I wasn't saying Alex wasn't a really talented baseball player, but I that was his edge, to be able to play the game out before it happened and I think that made him a better player.

"He's super friendly but he knew when to get on somebody's ass, too. I think he's going to be great bridging. And Mike Lowell was like this when we were in Boston, too. Kind of the bridge between the Latin guys and the American guys. He kind of would bridge any gaps that there are there."

And then there is the reality that Beckett came to know -- having played in Boston is the best preparation of all when it comes to living life in this unique market.

"There are going to be certain things that you guys and the front office expects, so, yeah, somebody who has been there and seen it first-hand," he said. "John Farrell, too, when he came in he had already seen and talked to Tito and done all of that. If you're just coming in without knowing there are going to be some things that you're going to be surprised by."