The World Series has yet to get underway, but a pair of MLB teams have already found new managers for the 2018 season. On Sunday, the New York Mets reportedly tabbed former Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway to fill their vacancy, while the Boston Red Sox went with Alex Cora, who is a bit tied up at the moment as the World Series-bound Astros’ bench coach.
Boston will have to wait until Houston finishes battling for a championship against the Los Angeles Dodgers before it can formally introduce the 42-year-old Cora, who has spent the past year with the Astros after being an ESPN analyst for several years following his final MLB season in 2011. Houston and Los Angeles begin play Tuesday; a sweep would end the World Series on Saturday, while a potential Game 7 is scheduled for Nov. 1.
“Returning to the Red Sox and the city of Boston is a dream come true for me and my family, and I look forward to working towards the ultimate goal of winning another championship for this city and its great fans,” Cora said in a statement released by the team. The former infielder played for Red Sox from 2005 to 2008 and was a member of Boston’s 2007 champions.
The Mets have yet to announce the hiring of Callaway, which was first reported by the New York Post. According to the newspaper, Callaway, also 42, was chosen over three other finalists for the job: Kevin Long, Manny Acta and Joe McEwing.
A former MLB pitcher who helped the Angels win the 2002 World Series, Callaway won’t necessarily be showing the Mets’ hitters how to golf one out of Citi Field, but he will be counted on to get the most out of a talented but injury-prone rotation. New York’s quintet of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler has yet to make consecutive starts, but all are expected back next season, along with 2017 contributors Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman.
Cora takes over from John Farrell, who led the Red Sox to the 2013 World Series title in his first season, and to first-place divisional finishes this year and last. However, Boston hasn’t won a playoff series since 2013, and after firing Farrell, the team also interviewed former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire, who just replaced Ausmus in Detroit.
“We were very impressed when we interviewed Alex,” Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox’ president of baseball operations, said in a statement. “He came to us as a highly regarded candidate, and from speaking with him throughout this process, we found him to be very knowledgeable, driven, and deserving of this opportunity. He is a highly respected and hardworking individual who has experience playing in Boston.
“Alex also has a full appreciation for the use of analytical information in today’s game and his ability to communicate and relate to both young players and veterans is a plus. Finally, the fact that he is bilingual is very significant for our club.”
Callaway will replace Terry Collins, who had managed the team since 2011, which included a World Series appearance in 2015; New York slumped to 70-92 this year. In Cleveland, Callaway went to the 2016 World Series, and he helped Corey Kluber win the American League Cy Young Award in 2014.
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