Alex Cora backs Rafael Devers putting pressure on Red Sox front office, ownership

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Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora told WEEI's Greg Hill Show that Rafael Devers "hates" being the face of the franchise. Being the most famous player on the team never seemed like a high priority to him from the outside.

Now, after years of pressure from Cora and the others in charge, Devers has taken on more of a leadership role with the club after speaking out about Boston's lack of additions this offseason. If Devers is willing to speak publicly about the needs of the ball club, the front office should know their situation is grim.

"Everybody knows what we need. You know what we need. They know what we need," Devers said of the team last week. He also mentioned there were things that he wanted to say about the state of the team that he wasn't allowed to bring up.

He's right, Boston's needs are clear, and most jumped to the conclusion that Devers was referencing a quality starting pitcher. The team is so nearly competitive that it seems like a waste to not meet them.

Cora added more context to Devers' statement and highlighted more of the team's needs in his interview, and not just ones that would require outside intervention to meet.

Cora said Devers prefaced his statement about the team's lack of additions by saying "he likes where we're at." As he embraces his team leader role, Devers made sure not to disparage any of Boston's current players — they're all under enough stress to perform well as it is.

The skipper mentioned ways the club can improve without outside influence or money to go along with many of the conclusions people reached from Devers' statement.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora commends Rafael Devers for speaking up about the state of the team

"He didn't say we need to play better defense or we need a better offensive player or more pitching, he said 'everybody knows.' But I don't know, you might think we need a starting pitcher, you might think it's a reliever, you might think it's another hitter," Cora said.

The reality is that the Sox probably need all of those things. At this point, it seems like they're getting one or none. Cora is managing expectations. He's revealed things that he and the team can control without the front office's money and they plan to work on them to be a better club.

Focusing on the controllable seems to be a theme for the upcoming campaign. The manager noted that now Devers has shared his opinion and the world knows what he believes the team should add, it's time for him and the rest of the roster to get to work.

With or without help from the front office, the Red Sox still have 162 games ahead of them. And with Devers' 10-year, $313.5 million extension officially on the clock, fans should expect more leadership from the slugger.

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