The Boston Red Sox are fighting to cling to some hope for that final American League Wild Card spot and cannot afford to lose many games over the final month-plus of the season. So tensions are high. They boiled over last night down in Houston where Alex Cora became the main character by repeatedly coming off the bench out on the field so he could be told to kick rocks by other people.
First he sauntered out to encourage Justin Verlander to pick up the pace when the veteran pitcher was having some trouble with his PitchCom setup in the second inning. You know, the thing they put in place to make it harder to cheat that should feel most at home in a Houston Astros-Boston Red Sox game. Verlander didn't much care it and could be heard telling Cora to "f--k off."
Things calmed down a bit until the seventh inning when Cora once again found a reason to get upset. This time at home plate umpire Pat Hoberg, who had a bit of a shaky night behind the dish so apparently needed to call a pitch six inches off the outside corner a strike for both teams. Cora finally lost it and unburdened himself to an extremely calm audience.
The outburst earned him an ejection and meant that no one else would have the privilege of tangling with a very ornery baseball manager. Houston went on to win. They'll play again today and we'll see if Cora embraces conflict as frequently.