Red Sox: Alex Cora has a long and fun history with Travis Shaw

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: Manager Alex Cora #13 of the Boston Red Sox before a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 18, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: Manager Alex Cora #13 of the Boston Red Sox before a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 18, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Alex Cora and Travis Shaw reunite with Red Sox

Boston has been very busy since the Trade Deadline has passed and they don’t look to be slowing down as Chaim Bloom crafts this roster for the postseason. Recently, the Red Sox brought back a familiar face in Travis Shaw, a former infielder with the club from 2015-2016. However, while the fans and organization may be acquainted with him, Alex Cora may know the “Mayor of Ding Dong City,” even better.

When speaking to the media after sweeping the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, Alex shed some light on the situation and gave some pretty funny anecdotes into his history with Shaw. As a member of the Dodgers, AC actually played with Travis’ father Jeff Shaw. And with one move from Bloom, Cora now has to see one of his biggest fears come to life.

"“I saw Travis running around in the clubhouse in L.A. I was actually at one point throughout this, I was like, ‘Aw, hopefully this doesn’t happen, that I manage a teammate’s kid.’ It happened,” said Cora. “When I found out, I was like, ‘Wow.’ It makes you feel old. He’s a good kid. He’s a good guy.”"

While Cora may only be 45 years old, relatively young for a baseball manager, he still had a 14-year playing career that saw him with six different clubs. It was just a matter of time before a former teammate’s son would make it through the ranks and call him ‘skipper.’ That day has now come and Alex will get to reunite with someone he hasn’t seen in ages while also probably getting to reconnect with his father as well.

Cora may feel old but compared to some other managers puttering around the big leagues he’s a spring chicken for sure. It’s one of the reasons why he’s been so successful with the Red Sox in this position, he’s relatable. He isn’t this old-timer from a bygone era that played the game when it was different. He was a part of the boom in the late-90s, as well as, through the 2000s where some of the most exciting players emerged.

"“He’s been here before,” Cora said. “It gives us a quality at-bat from the left side. I don’t know about the numbers. I know the kid.”"

Never forgetting that he was a player first and now a manager has given him such a huge advantage over some others with that job that have forgotten what it’s like to be on the field. More often than not you’ll see AC on the field working with guys like Rafael Devers or Christian Arroyo on different aspects of their game, and it’s paid off huge for the Red Sox.

Hell, without Cora we may have never seen Dustin Pedroia become the “Laser Show,” as it was his belief in Pedey that pushed Terry Francona to keep him in the lineup despite struggling.

For Shaw, this has to be something that’s beyond cool. Not only does he get to come back to the club that drafted him all those years ago, but he gets to play for a guy that he spent tons of time with as a kid. This is a big chance for Shaw to reignite his career under a guy who’s known for firing players up and bringing out their best. I think we could see a whole different guy over at first base with AC guiding him.

Claiming the infielder off of waivers is right in line with the way that Bloom likes to run things. He has shown time and time again that he’ll go digging through the rough in order to find a few diamonds. Yeah, he may have found a few lumps of coal along the way but Chaim has a pretty nice jewelry cabinet full of shiny gems. I believe that being with the Red Sox again could push Shaw to reach the potential that saw him drafted not once, but twice, in the first round in the MLB Draft.

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As Boston makes their way to Yankee Stadium for a quick three games in two days, Shaw was added to the active roster yesterday and will be at first base at some point in the series. With Bobby Dalbec finding his swing after a disappointing first half, they’ll likely platoon based on the pitching matchup. Travis can also cover second and third base if need be in order to balance out the lineup to Cora’s liking.

These three games with the Yankees are massive for Boston as they can send their most hated rival further down the standings while allowing them to keep pace with the first-place Rays. The Red Sox spent the majority of the first half in first but a second-half slump saw them fall five games behind Tampa. Thanks to that sweep of the O’s that deficit is cut to just three games with plenty of time left. Welcome back Travis Shaw, hope you remember how fun the Bronx is with that “B,” on your hat!

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