Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, speaking on Friday (19th October) about the Boston Red Sox baseball team, who are owned by Fenway Sports Group, who also own Liverpool, reaching the World Series.
Thousands of Puerto Ricans turned out to welcome home a national hero. Earlier in the week Alex Cora became the first man from the island to lead a team to victory in the World Series. The Boston Red Sox manager went to his home town Caguas - 30 kilometres south of the capital San Juan with other members of the organisation. "If you put limits to yourself, then you're going to be limited. And right now the organisation, they didn't put any boundaries on their manager. They trusted a kid from Caguas, Puerto Rico and they felt was going to be a good manager" (Reporter, off-camera asks question: "(if you were) extended an invitation to the White House would you accept you had to decide today?" "I know what it represents and I think I've done a good job so far, been, you know, representing my country and Latinos, and as an organization we decide to go, I'll use this platform the right way, I'm not gonna embarrass the organisation, my country or myself, we just have to wait and see if we get an invitation, if that happens we'll make a decision and see what happens." Cora, who spent 14 years in the majors and batted .243 as an infielder with six teams, steered the Red Sox to a team-record 108 wins in the regular season before Boston topped the 100-win Yankees and Astros in the playoffs.
There are two very different kinds of pressure on the ball clubs fighting it out for the World Series. The LA Dodgers have endured a 30-year drought since ball club legends Kirk Gibson and Tommy Lasorda bought the trophy back home, and last year they got agonisingly close, losing to the Houston Astros in seven games. "It's pretty critical. You know, I really want to win the World Series. I think that's no different than the other 50 guys in both locker rooms, though. I think the only difference maybe is that because we've gotten so close in the past, because we've gotten to go to the postseason, we're a little bit spoiled in our expectations every year with the Dodgers, which is a great thing." Clayton Kershaw will pitch game one, and he'll be up against arguably the best team out there - Boston set a new franchise record of 108 wins in the regular season under the first year coach Alex Cora "The other day I sat down I was like, 'Whew, we made it.' Especially here. We knew about the division and record-setting season and all that stuff, but in this town everything started after October. And we're glad that we're here. I'm happy to lead this group of men and we're ready for the challenge." The pressure of being the favourites and trying to win a 4th title in 14 years will fall squarely on the shoulders of ace pitcher Chris Sale, who has struggled with injury and a wayward arm in recent outings Boston's offense will help him - Mookie Betts led both leagues with a batting average of 346 and 129 runs, while JD Martinez finished with 130 runners batted in. "Yeah, Chris is our ace, so we're definitely going to need him to come out and do what Chris does. He's a huge part of us and a huge part of our team so, with him setting the tone early I think is a big advantage to this series." The Red Sox have home advantage with the first two games of the best of 7 series taking place at storied Fenway Park
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