Disappointed Red Sox fans reacted to the news that team manager, Alex Cora, has been fired Wednesday.
“I think it was a huge shock to all Red Sox fans,” said Katelyn Tremblay of Manchester. “I think he’s had a great impact on the team so everyone was probably taken back a little bit.”
Cora, who led the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series title, has been accused of stealing opposing teams’ signs, both as the Astros bench coach in 2017 and the Red Sox manager last year.
“When you’re stealing signs from the catcher and using technology to do that, in my opinion, it is cheating,” said Howie Dietch, a high school baseball coach, who knows his teenaged players are paying attention.
“(The players) are gonna see that it’s not the right thing to do, hopefully,” said Dietch. “Hopefully youth coaches are teaching their players that this is the wrong thing to do.”
Taking this especially hard are Red Sox fans with ties to Cora’s native Puerto Rico, an island where, according to Terryville’s Albert Molina, Cora is a “legend.”
“Him being the first Puerto Rican Manager to ever win a World Series, it was just great,” said Molina. “Bringing the World Series trophy back to the Island, that’s something that had never happened.”
At the Connecticut Baseball Academy in East Hartford, Bob Hetu coaches AAU players aged 10 thru 18. He says in baseball, signs are sometimes “borrowed,” explaining it is part of the gamesmanship of the sport. He is using this situation as a teaching moment for his players.
“There’s a lot of information shared on the field, so what’s important is we teach our catchers the right way to give signs so the base coaches can’t see them,” said Hetu.
Purists say this gamesmanship has been part of the sport since its inception. What’s different now though is the way it was done, using video replays and other technology. With the firing of not only Cora but also Houston Astro Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow, baseball fans hope youth players understand the message being sent.
“Hopefully they’re getting the message that you’re not going to win by cheating,” said Mike McGowan of Manchester. “In the long run you’re only hurting yourself and you’re hurting your team.”