Cora: Booing of the Astros ‘tough to swallow’

June 9th, 2021

BOSTON -- Aside from taking a 7-1 loss in which his team didn’t really play well in any facet of the game, Tuesday was probably the toughest night of the season for Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

The reason? The harsh boos that the Fenway faithful treated the Astros with all night -- most of them reserved for Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman.

Cora, of course, was a central part of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal and was suspended by MLB for the 2020 season.

So while the Boston fans were having their fun, Cora couldn’t help but feel accountable for his own role in how the Astros illegally used technology to decipher signs while he was the bench coach in 2017.

“On a personal level, tough to swallow,” said Cora. “Tough to hear it. Because at the end, I was part of that. I was part of the 2017 Astros, and I was part of the whole sign-stealing situation and them being booed and screamed at the way they [were], I was part of that, too.”

Though the Red Sox fans were jeering Astros players and not Cora, he couldn’t help but have a sinking feeling as he heard it.

“Like I’ve been saying all along, I know there’s a lot of people in this town who are fans of the Boston Red Sox that don’t agree that I’m the manager,” said Cora. “There’s others that yeah, they’re OK with it and others, they’re just happy that we have this record. But that was something I was wondering for a while -- how people were going to treat them -- because at the end, we were part of it.

“Me and [current Red Sox player] Marwin [Gonzalez] were part of that, and it was a tough one last night. When I got home, I thought about it. I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was tough. It was a tough night, not only on the field -- that part, whatever. I can deal with that. We will lose another game 7-1, but the fact that there were boos like that, that kind of hit me, too.”

Though Cora has been booed here and there this season, he hasn’t experienced anything like what has greeted those Astros who remain from the 2017 team.

“I already talked to some of [Houston’s players], and it’s been tougher in other places. The New York thing is really tough on them, and they understand why, they know why,” said Cora. “I know there’s a lot of people who boo them because they’re good, too. They’re the Houston Astros. But at the same time, most of the people are doing it because of what happened in ’17. But yeah, going back to the question ... it was a tough one for me last night.”

Barnes willing to talk contract

With Red Sox closer Matt Barnes pitching at the highest level of his career, it is noteworthy that he will be eligible for free agency this winter.

According to MassLive, the Red Sox did have some preliminary talks with Barnes during Spring Training. Would Barnes be willing to revisit extension talks before he reaches free agency?

“I’m not going to say I’m against it. Yeah, absolutely, I would be open to it,” said Barnes. “But I can tell you firmly, nothing has happened. We haven’t had any discussions since Spring Training, so if the Red Sox want to make an offer and they want to start those conversations. … Listen, I’ve always been a firm believer that listening to information is always free, whether that’s in baseball or life.

“Listening is free. If they want to have a conversation, I’m sure that’s something my agent and I can discuss and see if anything comes of that. But as of right now, nothing has happened.”

Eduardo Rodriguez is another key Boston player who could become a free agent this winter. Unlike Barnes, however, Rodriguez has underperformed so far this season.