Cora says opportunity to manage Red Sox is a return home

BOSTON (AP) New Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn’t expect his first chance to manage in the major leagues to come this soon, but he says he’s ready to take on the challenge of leading one of its most storied franchises.

Cora was introduced Monday at Fenway Park as the 47th manager of the Red Sox. A native of Puerto Rico, the 42-year-old also becomes the first minority manager of a club that was the last in the major leagues to field a black player.

Cora says he understands the significance of his hiring, but says he believes he has been given his first managerial opportunity based solely on his capability.

A middle infielder on Boston’s 2007 World Series championship team, Cora says he sees the job as a return home. Cora played four seasons for the Red Sox, and this year was the bench coach for the World Series champion Houston Astros.

The Astros beat the Red Sox this year in the AL Division Series in a matchup of first-place teams.

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