While the Red Sox are surely looking forward to welcoming in a full crowd to Fenway Park for the first time in nearly two years on Saturday as part of this weekend’s series against the Marlins, they will be doing so without manager Alex Cora.
The reason being: Cora is heading back home to Puerto Rico on Friday night for his daughter Camila’s graduation from high school, which will take place on Saturday.
“It’s our time to root for her,” Cora said of his only daughter when speaking with reporters prior to Wednesday’s game against the Braves. “I cannot wait for Saturday. It’s probably the biggest day of my life, to be able to see Camila graduate from high school. It’s amazing. She’s actually the life of our family, the vibe of our family and she’s the leader of our family. I cannot wait for that. It will be a special day.”
As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Camila Cora is the daughter of Alex and his ex-wife, Nilda, and is the second of Cora’s four children. Considering the fact that Camila is his only daughter, it would appear that the two have a tight relationship.
“This girl, she means the world to us,” said Cora. “She has been through a lot in her life. A child of divorced parents — that’s not easy — but the fact we’ve been able to work together and put her in the situation where she’s at right now. She’s going to college, she has been great to us throughout the process. She has suffered a lot the last 16 months with everything that happened with me, but at the same time, our relationship has grown. I explained her a lot of stuff. She had a lot of questions and I answered all of them.”
In Cora’s place, Red Sox bench coach Will Venable will handle managerial duties on Saturday. Cora does plan on being back in Boston for Sunday’s series finale against Miami, though.
For Venable, Saturday’s contest against the Marlins will mark his big-league managerial debut. The 38-year-old was one of several candidates who originally interviewed for the Sox’ managerial opening last fall before Cora ultimately won the job again.
“For Will, no pressure at all,” Cora said. “Just go out there and try to win a ballgame. I told him, ‘No texting. No calling. Just get ready for that.’ He’ll be fine. He’ll be fine. So looking forward for Saturday on a personal note, and also to see Will go out there and do his thing.”
As for when Cora will get to see more of Camila once he returns to Boston from Puerto Rico on Sunday, that time will come later this year since she will be attending Boston College beginning in the fall.
“It has been a sprint, but now it starts, actually,” Cora said. “The fact she’s going to go to college and we’re going to enjoy that, too, it’s going to be amazing.”
(Picture of Alex and Camila Cora: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)