With the Boston Red Sox just one win away from another World Series title, Manager of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said there has been no shortage of emotions “bubbling up” inside. It may be even harder to stomach, when you’re observing from the sidelines. “There’s not much that I can do, other than be available for our staff members because, really, everything is in the control of Alex, the staff and the players,” Dombrowski said, when referring to the postseason.
Fortunately, for Dombrowski, he’s able to put his trust behind Alex Cora, a manager he had high praise for, in speaking with WBZ NewsRadio’s Adam Kaufman. Dombrowski recalls being impressed with Cora from early on in the process of finding a new team manager.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Dombrowski said. “It’s been a year now and I really didn’t know Alex well, at all, before the interview process. I had met him a few times and shook his hand. He was very impressive in the interview process and also, when you had a chance to do your research and your digging, everywhere you turned, there was nothing but compliments, and deservedly so.”
Dombrowski describes Cora as someone who is not just a great baseball person, but a great person, in general.
“Leadership, communication, quality as an individual, baseball knowledge, the ability to continue to learn and digest information - when you put all those qualities [together] and he’s a sincere individual, from the heart – people recognize he’s a good person, he’s caring,” Dombrowski said as he listed off Cora’s talents.
“To be at this point, where I hope he wins his first championship as a manager… it’s amazing what you go through,” Dombrowski said. “It’s really a pleasure to work with him because he does such an efficient job, he can express his thoughts, you can express your thoughts – you don’t always agree. A lot of the time, and most of the time, we do. But, it’s done in a very instructive fashion and he really runs an efficient organization and the communication with the players is outstanding. I know a word that is used in today’s world a lot is ‘connectivity,’ and he connects with people and, particularly, with his players.”
Dombrowski does admit that he and his team’s manager don’t always agree on everything, but that’s okay. For someone that’s been through the paces with many of modern baseball’s great managers, he has learned to have faith in great managers and knows that there’s usually a well-developed thought behind every action.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and that’s something that you always have,” Dombrowski said in regard to having doubts about your manager’s decisions. “I learned a long time ago, because I was fortunate to be around Hall of Fame managers… that you don’t always agree with what they do, on a regular basis. I think that’s what makes our game so fun, in many ways. I’ve been in conversations and been fortunate enough to sit around with Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland and have conversations. In the eighth inning of a 2-2 game with a man on first base, one may bunt, one may hit-and-run, one may steal, one may do nothing, and you’re always in a position where they have a reason behind why they’re doing something. They’re not just shooting from the hip.”
What’s more, Cora, like many of the greats Dombrowski has worked with in the past, does not shy away from holding himself accountable.
“That’s a natural situation, there’s times when a manager does something that may be glaring, and you might question him on that and, normally, what’s interesting about the great managers, are that they’re the first ones to say ‘I messed that up, I wish I hadn’t done that,’ Dombrowski said.
Following game four of the World Series, Dombrowski said it was Cora who admitted “I think I rode Eduardo [Rodriguez] a little bit longer than I would have,” before management even had a chance to bring it up. “He brought it up before we even discussed it,” Dombrowski said.
With Cora just about a year in and one game away from his first World Series championship as a manager, there’s certainly some substance behind Dombrowski’s praise - and he thinks that the manager’s success is far from over.
“Those are the things about somebody who’s really a good baseball person and a good manager, and I think he will be a good manager for many, many years.”
WBZ NewsRadio’s Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) Reports:
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