Why one Rafael Devers interview meant so much


It could have been just another excellent postgame interview on the Red Sox network, with Will Flemming and Joe Castiglione going back and forth one of the key contributors in a Sox win.

Wednesday night it ended up being so much more.

So much so that 18 hours later after Rafael Devers completed his interview after the Sox' 5-1 win over the Astros, his manager was pumping his fist when finding out about how the four-minute question and answer went down.

For a player that keeps evolving into something better and better seemingly every day, Devers took a significant step forward thanks to an interview he decided was going to be done primarily in English.

"Yes," Cora said softly when told that Devers had mustered up the confidence to break off from his native language, giving a slight celebratory fist pump.

"First time I heard it. It makes me proud. I do believe this kid is going to be very special. He is special but I think with time people are going to be talking about him. And for him to take that step, it’s very important. You saw it with David. I saw it with Adrian. Those are Hall of Famers. I’m not saying Raffy is going to be a Hall of Famer but I saw how they grew into this. David is retired and doing commercials. Not only salsa commercials. It’s a step that is needed. Hopefully, he can play here the rest of his career and he’s going to be very important in the community. Not only the Latino community but everybody here. For him to do that, I’m glad. We actually joke with him sometimes when he comes in, I’ll tell him in English, ‘hey, how you doing?’ ‘I’m doing good.’ And Dugie (Alex Verdugo) does the same thing. And J.D. (Martinez), he tries to get him going in English. I know Brian (Almont) helps him out with interviews. But for him to do that, I’m actually at a loss of words. You caught me off guard. But I’m very pleased that happened."

While Devers' English has been vastly improved over the past few years, regularly communicating with his teammates in the language, Cora explained there had been no pushing to implement it into interviews.

"No, not really. I’m not going to push him out there but he knows his English," the manager said. "He told Tim (Hyers) last year. That’s the greatest interview ever. Why are you so happy? ‘I’m playing baseball, I make money, I hit homers.’ That’s very simple. Good for him."

While the actual act was noteworthy enough, the thought of where such confidence might lead Devers didn't escape Cora.

"He’s become a man," the manager said. "Let’s put it that way. I’m just happy that he’s with us and this is a guy that we really like, we respect, and hopefully, he can play his whole career here with us."