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We need to talk about Alex Cora using the word “slacks”


Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston interviewed Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and Cora talked about clubhouse stuff, leadership, dress codes and the like.

It’s interesting stuff from a new manager, especially a new manager on a club whose off-the-field behavior and deportment gets a lot more coverage and attention than most other teams. As recent history shows, we’re far more likely to hear what happens on the Red Sox team plane or in their clubhouse than most other teams, so that whole scene is pretty relevant here.

The key from Cora is that he’s going to let the veterans lead and see where that goes:

“I think you give them the space,” Cora said in a sit-down with NBC Sports Boston. “Obviously, we’re going to have some rules. Dress codes, and who can be in the clubhouse, all that stuff. … I will get the veterans or the core of the team in my office. Tell ‘em what I want from them, and then they meet and they’ll come back with a set of rules that they feel it’s appropriate for the team, and then we’ll discuss and we go.”

That dress code led to this comment from Cora:

“I signed with the Dodgers in 1996, and that was an organization that from Double-A on every trip, it was a [must to wear a] sports coat on the road,” Cora said. “Have to wear a collared shirt. Slacks on the road … it was very clean. So I know it’s different now. I know that what for me is a dress shirt for another guy is not.

The idea to listen to players and to impose rules that meet both your values as a leader and the realities of the lives of younger players seems like a sensible approach.

But I’m sorry, I’m stuck on “slacks” and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to shake it for most of the rest of the day.

Cora is two years younger than I am. The only person I know who says “slacks” unironically is my 74-year-old father. Cora isn’t totally on the old man train here, as he says “jeans” instead of “dungarees” later in the article. Makes me wonder if he says “ice box” or “davenport” too, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for another article for that.

Not that I have standing to make too much fun of him. I call ATMs “cash machines” and always have. My wife, who is a few years younger than me, mocks me mercilessly for that. One day we were watching “The Big Lebowski” and The Dude said “cash machine.” I said “Ah ha! See!” And she said “This movie takes place over 25 years ago and The Dude is old even then.”

So, hey, I feel ya, Alex.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.