Cora celebrates Sox-themed 46th birthday

October 18th, 2021

BOSTON -- If Red Sox manager Alex Cora could script a perfect birthday, it would involve spending quality time with his family during the day and taking part in a huge baseball game at night.

That made No. 46, which Cora celebrated on Monday with his Red Sox gearing up for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park against the Astros, one to savor.

Cora’s mother Iris -- as big a baseball nut as there is in existence -- flew in from Puerto Rico. Alex’s partner, Angelica Feliciano, and their 4-year-old twin sons, Xander and Isander, were also there. Cora also got to spend time with his 18-year-old daughter, Camila, a freshman at Boston College.

“My mom flew in this morning. We were at home with the whole crew here -- cake, balloons, all that,” said Cora. “Everything was Red Sox-related theme. We don’t want to jinx what’s going on. It was cool.”

For Cora’s 45th birthday, he was at his home in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and could only be a spectator for the MLB postseason. At that point, he was serving his one-year suspension from MLB for his role in the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal.

The Red Sox re-hired him as manager shortly after his suspension expired at the conclusion of the 2020 World Series.

“Professionally, it's a lot different, but personally, I mean, we had a great day last year,” said Cora. “It was awesome. We had the same crew here. They were back home. That's something I always appreciate. Being around the family and having fun with them.”

However, a year later, Cora is back in his element and doing what he does best -- managing in October. His 16-5 record in the postseason matches Earl Weaver as the best in history for the first 21 games of a managerial career.

“Obviously, professionally, I was watching games on TV and just thinking about what was going to happen towards the end of that month, understanding that I only had, what, two more weeks or three weeks to see what the future was going to be,” Cora said.

“Honestly, thinking probably that I was going to join [ESPN] in Bristol, [Conn.], probably doing something there, doing TV or whatever, but obviously a few weeks later, things changed, and here I am. But I wasn't even thinking about managing or whatever. I was just enjoying the family and being a baseball fan and watching.”

As much as Cora tried to soak in Monday leading up to his team’s first home game of the ALCS, he did in his usual way -- balancing the importance of baseball and family.

“I think for [the Red Sox] to give me a chance to come back, this is what we envisioned,” Cora said. “But like I said before, for us as a family, the Coras and the Felicianos, to be around and have air mattresses and cakes and rice and beans at midnight, you know, who cares about the diet? It's great. They're loving it and I'm enjoying it. I love the fact that they're having a blast watching this and cheering for the Red Sox.”

Eovaldi for one?
, Boston’s No. 1 starter this season, has had one day of rest since his strong start in Game 2 on Saturday.

However, Cora indicated the righty might pitch one inning in relief if needed in Game 3. Eovaldi’s next scheduled start in this series would be for Game 6 on Friday (if necessary).

“Nate feels like, physically, he can give us one,” said Cora. “So that’s something we’ll take into consideration. But this is different, because we play three in a row. If we use him, it has to be kind of, like, the perfect situation.”

Arroyo dancing on his own
Red Sox second baseman experienced an organically joyful moment at Sunday’s Cowboys-Patriots game in Foxboro.

When the jumbotron showed Arroyo, Kevin Plawecki and other Red Sox players, the song “Dancing On My Own” blared on the Gillette Stadium sound system.

That tune -- originally performed by Robyn, remixed by Calum Scott and now serving as Plawecki’s walk-up song -- has become the good-luck anthem of these Red Sox, one they’ve been doing team sing-a-longs to each time they’ve had a clinching win this October.

Arroyo got up and danced to the song, much to the delight of the fans in Foxboro.

“They started playing the song, and I can't help but dance, you know, when that song comes on,” Arroyo said. “I love it. It's just one of those things that started as a joke, but I was singing it in the elevator coming up. It's one of those things that's stuck with us.”