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Red Sox to interview Alex Cora for managerial opening

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Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora is expected to meet with Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski on Sunday, per Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. No frontrunners have emerged for Boston’s managerial vacancy just yet, but retired MLB catcher and current special assistant Jason Varitek and Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus have also been mentioned as possible replacements for former skipper John Farrell.

Cora is still topping off his first year with the Astros’ organization. He briefly assumed control of the team when Houston manager A.J. Hinch was ejected during a 5-1 win over the Rangers in August, but has not stepped into a full-time managerial role at any point since his retirement in 2012. As with Varitek, however, the Red Sox might be drawn to the familiarity that Cora has with the organization. He played the better part of four years with the Sox from 2005 to 2008, batting a cumulative .252/.321/.350 with six home runs and a .670 OPS.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Cora will be a shoo-in for the role. The Globe’s Nick Cafardo speculates that the 41-year-old coach will be in hot demand this offseason and is likely to receive interest from the Mets, Tigers and Phillies as well, though the Mets appear focused on Ausmus and the Phillies might be set on Buck Showalter, among other candidates.

Hunter Strickland fractured his hand punching a door after Monday’s poor performance

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Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.

Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.

Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.

Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.