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Alex Cora Says He Would’ve Returned to ESPN Had Red Sox Not Rehired HIm

“I think Bristol, Connecticut [is what I would’ve done]. That was actually my plan.”

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Alex Cora returned to the Boston Red Sox as field manager after serving a one-year suspension from Major League Baseball for his involvement in the Houston Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

Following a report released by MLB that said Cora played a key role in the system, calling the Astros’ video replay room to get the opposing team’s signs and relaying them to players. Later, he helped set up a monitor near the dugout that allowed players to see signs and infamously bang a trash can to inform the batter at the plate which pitch was coming.

Due to the suspension, the Red Sox dismissed Cora for the 2020 season, two years after winning the World Series, and Ron Roenicke managed the club. However, after a disappointing 24-36 season and fifth-place finish, and Cora having served his penalty, the team decided to bring him back as manager.

But what if Boston general manager Chaim Bloom had opted for a different direction and not rehired Cora. What would Cora have done? Steve Perrault asked him that very question on Audacy’s new Red Sox podcast, Inside the Monster.

“I think Bristol, Connecticut [is what I would’ve done]. That was actually my plan,” Cora told Perrault. “At the moment, going through the whole thing in 2020, talking to the family and planning ahead, it was go back to Bristol, people will see you, you talk about everything and then somebody will give you a chance in two or three years.”

Cora was previously with ESPN from 2013 through 2016 as an analyst for Baseball Tonight and ESPN Deportes. He left for the bench coach position with the Astros.

“But it just happened that this group, they believe in me, they gave me a chance to talk to Chaim and try to convince him or try to convince the organization that I was the right guy for the job,” he continued. “They gave me a chance, and I’m here because of that. It was going to be Bristol 100 percent. Go back to the Homewood Suites or whatever and stay there for a few days and do the playoffs and all of that, which it’s great, but I never thought it was going to happen this quickly to be honest with you.”

Bringing Cora back was obviously a good decision for the Red Sox. Boston rebounded with a 92-70 record, qualified for the American League playoffs as a Wild Card, defeated their rival New York Yankees in a one-game playoff, and upset the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series.

Cora would surely rather be in a major-league dugout managing or coaching. And the Red Sox surely don’t want him going anywhere. But broadcasting is there to fall back on if he ever needs a break. And if ESPN doesn’t have an opening, there are arguably more opportunities now with MLB Network and baseball’s new streaming partners in Apple TV+ and Peacock.

Inside the Monster is available on Audacy.com and the Audacy app, in addition to your podcast app of choice.

Sports Online

Jeff Passan Now Breaking News On Instagram After Noting Twitter Instability

Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”.

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ESPN MLB reporter Jeff Passan has begun pushing some of his breaking news stories on his Instagram in addition to his Twitter account after noting the social media platform’s instability.

In a tweet on Saturday, November 12th, Passan shared that the Houston Astros and reliever Rafael Montero had agreed to a new contract, with details on his Instagram page. In a follow up message, Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”, should the worst happen on Twitter.

Many accused Passan of grandstanding, and “virtue signaling” for “boycotting” a platform now owned by Elon Musk. There have been unsubstantiated reports of Twitter’s volatility under Musk’s ownership.

Last week, though, Passan continued posting breaking news to his Instagram account.

Passan appears to be the first ESPN news breaker to make a shift, however slight, to an alternate platform from Twitter.

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Bill Simmons: Bob Iger Return Comes After Being Rebuffed As Potential Suns Owner

“Maybe I’m reporting this — Robert Sarver, the Suns owner, said flat-out ‘I’m not selling to Iger or a group that includes Iger’.”

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Bob Iger made his return to Disney as the company’s CEO in a shocking announcement Sunday night. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons believes it’s not a coincidence Iger has returned to replace Bob Chapek after being told he wouldn’t be part of a new ownership group of the Phoenix Suns.

“I think one of the things that’s been interesting about him the last couple of years is we always heard his name floated around for different things…Would he be involved with the Phoenix Suns? That seemed to be the latest thing,” Simmons said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. “‘Oh, Iger’s got a group.’ I know — and maybe I’m reporting this — Robert Sarver, the Suns owner, said flat-out ‘I’m not selling to Iger or a group that includes Iger’ because he blamed Disney for the ESPN story that took down Sarver and led to him selling the team.

“I think once Iger realized he didn’t have a chance with the Suns, maybe that heated up the Disney thing.”

Simmons equated the return of Iger to that of an NFL quarterback he’s quite familiar with.

“There’s some Tom Brady elements to this,” Simmons said. “He leaves his dream job. Didn’t want to stay too long. He’s very wary of anyone who loves the Disney history and has read all the books. He was the guy Michael Eisner just refused to turn Disney over to for years and years, and Iger was very worried about not being that guy and stay too long, but he also wanted new challenges.”

Simmons began his podcast by calling the news one of the more seismic he’s seen.

“One of the biggest Hollywood stories of the past — I would say — eight to ten years happened tonight,” Bill Simmons said. “Bob Iger, who retired from Disney triumphantly, wrote a book, rode off into the sunset, named this handpicked successor — Bob Chapek — and a couple of years later reveals he’s returning as the CEO of Disney.”

Iger was the CEO at Disney from 2005-2020. Simmons worked at Disney-owned ESPN from 2001-2015.

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Sports Online

Barstool Sports Star Big Cat Launches Coffee Business

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

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A new direct-to-consumer product from the minds at Barstool Sports has hit store shelves – coffee. Stella Blue Coffee is a new brand launched by Pardon My Take co-host and Barstool Sports star Dan “Big Cat” Katz.

The name was inspired by Big Cat’s love of coffee and his love for his recue dog Stella.

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

The coffee will feature three different blends. Positive Vibes is the light roast, Big Cat Blend is the medium roast and Electric Avenue Dark Roast. The coffee is available in 12-ounce whole bean bags, 12-ounce ground bags and pods for Keurig lovers.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coffee will go to PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill humane organization in Dan’s hometown.

Stella Blue is the latest Barstool-backed and created DTC product to hit store shelves. The company has a record of previous success launching other products including flavored vodka, beer and hard seltzers.

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