Things went pretty well for Alex Cora in his first season managing the Red Sox.
Possibly realizing that, first-year Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla picked Cora's brain over the weekend.
The Celtics are one loss away from their season ending at the hands of the 76ers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Boston went up 2-1 in the series, but have since lost two in a row and trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven set.
Both the Celtics and the Red Sox were in Philadelphia over the weekend, playing just a few hundred feet across the street from one another. Mazzulla went over to Citizens Bank Park during batting practice one day, and got to chat with Cora.
“I actually saw him in Philly. He came to batting practice and we talked a little bit, he asked me a few questions,” Cora said in his weekly appearance on Gresh & Fauria. “Obviously, the results are the results. The media and the fanbase, they’re going to put pressure on everything that is going on.
“My biggest advice that day was to try to enjoy it as much as possible with the family. That’s something that I did in 2018, I call it Legion Baseball, it was my mom and my sisters and everybody traveling together, trying to enjoy what is a great journey, and we had a blast with it.”
Things were a little more cheery around the Celtics at that point because Boston was up in the series.
Since then, the outlook is more bleak. Cora has been around long enough to know getting too involved in the “noise” won’t do the Celtics any favors.
“As far as the other stuff, the noise, you guys know how I feel about it,” Cora said. “You have to try to cancel it. The players have to stay away from it because it gets loud, and if you’re going to listen to it, use it the right way, don’t use it against you. That’s one of the things that makes our city, our town special, everybody is passionate about it. Everybody has gotten used to winning, and they’re thirsty for more, they’re hungry for more. …
“The expectations are high, you’ve just gotta keep going. Put your head down and keep grinding. They won two games in a row a lot of times this season, so they can do it. It’s just a matter of taking care of – I know this sounds very cliche-like – quarter by quarter, play by play, whatever it is. Do what you’re supposed to do and get back to Boston, Mother’s Day, win that series and move on.
Then, presumably catching the oversimplification, Cora quipped.
“That sounded easy, right?”