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Red Sox Offseason Choose Your Own Adventure - Hardball with Alex Cora

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Plot twist - OTM decided to respond to the contract demands by looking at someone else.

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
Jason Varitek is the second person to interview in the choose your own adventure series. What will happen next?
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

As always, you can find the story stream here. And just so everybody is 100% clear, this is fake. These are not Alex Cora’s demands. Alex Cora has not signed with the Red Sox (yet), nor is there any further indication that the decision has been made in reality. This is a game. These are not the actual people. I’m not sure why I feel the need to say that. Maybe I’m losing my own grip on reality.


October 12th, 1 PM EST

Henry - “Thanks for interviewing with us today, Alex. We’ve still got a couple guys left to interview, so we’ll get back to you. You know our number if you wish to rescind a demand or something. As it stands, we still like you an awful lot, but we have other things to consider, when it comes to the health and strength of our organization.”

Cora - “That’s fair, if you don’t mind me asking, what specifically bothered you about my demands? It may help me to change my mind if needed.”

Henry - “Well, let’s start with the first demand. There’s really nothing wrong with this one as far as I can tell. We have already opened the doors for our coaches to go elsewhere, and are 100% willing to go in a totally new direction with our coaching staff. Free reign there.”

Cora - “That’s great, that was an important demand for me.”

Boston Red Sox Photo Day
Chili Davis is one such coach that has been given the ability to look for jobs elsewhere.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Henry - “The second one is where problems begin to arise. We think it’s fair of you to ask for security, especially if there’s a chance we’re actually low-balling you on the contract offer. I don’t believe we’re that far off, if at all, but even if we were, it’s very sketchy to not be allowed to fire our manager if the performance is poor. Ultimately, you are here because we believe in you. And you are here because you believe in us. Neither of us wants the relationship to end after one season. Imagine if we’d given these same rights to Bobby Valentine.”

Cora - “Fair enough. I do not think I’d be that bad, but your justification is solid, so I can’t argue too much.”

Henry - “The third demand is also kind of shaky for some, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Just one of those things we’d prefer to take slowly. We might well be interested in Luke Gregerson. As you noted, Addison Reed is an impending free agent. We may need a reliever, and he fits the general idea of what we’d try to look for. We also do like Francisco Liriano if he stays a reliever. You may have noticed but our depth as far as lefty relievers go isn’t the best! With that said, we also like Jake McGee, and cannot commit to a specific reliever, when there may be other options. There are only 25 roster spots available on opening day after all.”

Cora - “That’s also fair, and something I’ll put into consideration.”

Henry - “So what we’re going to do, since we respect you a lot, is tell you what we plan. We’re going to send an offer to your agent. It has the first demand included, and significant buyout clauses in case we decide the relationship isn’t working out. It won’t keep you from being fired, but it will guarantee your family is taken care of. We believe it to be a fair compromise. We’re not going to up the salary offer significantly, triple is just too high, and frankly, I think you are bluffing. We’ve added a decent amount, but not nearly as much as you may have expected. If you decide the contract is to your liking, have your agent call us, and we’ll schedule one final sit down. In the meantime, we’re to call in Jason Varitek and Gabe Kapler, our other two finalists for the managerial position.”

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers
Gabe Kapler is scheduled to interview in our game, but so far, that front seems quiet in reality. Are the Sox overlooking him?
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Cora - “Yeah, I’ll look over the contract with my agent, and discuss with my family what my next move will be. I appreciate how straight forward you have been with me. I’ll have my agent get back to you soon.”

Henry - “Thanks for coming in Alex, be sure to get a donut from Susan on the way out.”


Outside of Alexander Henry’s Office - 1:01 PM EST

Susan - “Thanks for coming in Mr. Cora. We hope to hear from you soon.”

Cora - “How did you know that he didn’t hire me on the spot?”

Susan - “I have my ways. Here’s a donut.”

Alex Cora takes the donut, which happens to be triple chocolate, and departs the office.

Henry (intercom) - “You have Jason Varitek and Gabe Kapler in the next room, right?”

Susan - “And sequestered from each other, as you asked. Very curious strategy, sir.”

Henry (intercom) - “Right, send in Jason. Keep Gabe on standby, and have someone visit him with coffee and donuts.”

Susan - “Right away sir. Do you want me to cancel your 3:00 tee-time?”

Henry (intercom) - “Unfortunately. I was hoping Alex would agree with us, and we’d be out of here before then. But now that we have to interview with Jason and Gabe, I’m fairly certain we’ll be here until much later.”

Susan - “Oh, that’s a shame. I’d heard that JD Martinez was going to be at that very same club this afternoon. Something about checking out Boston before starting his search in free agency.”

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One
OK, so JD Martinez probably isn’t golfing in Boston right now, nor would he be for any particular reason. But let’s pretend he was.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Henry (intercom) - “Why on earth would you tell me something that is so clearly upsetting before I interview someone who could possibly make or break this franchise? I’m not prepared for this!”

Susan - “I have my reasons. Mostly I like flustering you.”

Henry (intercom) - You are absolutely infuriating, but that’s also why I like having you on staff. You are the yin to my yang, and clearly the only person twisted enough to be my partner in business for as long as you have. How long has it been, anyways?”

Susan - “Right. Well I’ll have Jason in as soon as possible, good luck sir.”


Alexander Henry’s Office - 1:10 PM EST

Jason Varitek walks in.

Varitek - “I’m looking forward to this discussion. The Red Sox are near and dear to my heart, and I’d love to get my feet wet with this team. I’ve already committed to staying with Boston as a special adviser, and regardless of who is boss, I answer to them until they decide to cut me loose.”

Henry - “Welcome, Jason. As you may be aware, you are one of our finalists for the Sox manager position. We like you an awful lot.”

Varitek - “I appreciate the thought sir, but I also know I’m not the first person you’ve interviewed today.”

Henry - “How would you know that?”

Varitek - “Twitter. It’s crazy how accurate it is. I checked my phone on my way into this room, and basically had a word for word account of how Alex Cora walked out of your office, got a triple chocolate donut from Susan, and left. Then there was a bit about how your meeting with me and Gabe Kapler might interfere with your ability to establish a good relationship with free agent JD Martinez.”

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox
Jason Varitek just caught Alexander Henry. Maybe it will have a long-term impact. Maybe it won’t. Maybe this is the wakeup call Henry needs.
Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

Henry - “I really need to get better security if they are able to get all that information.”

Varitek - “And you need to work on your negotiating, because you just confirmed all of this. Why would you do that?”

Henry - “Right, well, let’s get down to brass tacks. What do you plan for this club?”

Varitek - “I have a lot of plans, specifically, but I want some honesty from you first, before I give you my plans. Am I just leverage to you? I realize Alex and I both have no managerial experience, but I also read somewhere that there’s 99.9% chance you would sign him to the managerial position. Where exactly is my position in the organization? If I don’t get the manager job, am I out of the organization? I’ve been with the team as a player and adviser for a long time, and I’m worried about where this puts me.”


Poll

How will you respond to Jason Varitek?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Assure Varitek his position is secured in the organization, even if he doesn’t become the manager
    (192 votes)
  • 34%
    Offer Varitek chance at managing a minor league team if he doesn’t become the manager
    (123 votes)
  • 2%
    Tell Varitek that the organization is moving away from advisers and that he would be open to pursue other opportunities
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    Dodge questions, and insist Varitek talk about his plans as a potential manager.
    (33 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now

Poll ends on 10/22/17 at 11:00 PM ET.