Red Sox Manager Alex Cora greets second baseman Christian Arroyo after Boston’s win against the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the 2021 American League Championship Series. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Alex Cora didn’t win the American League Manager of the Year award. He did win over his bosses. Again.

On Monday, the Boston Red Sox announced that they had picked up the club options on Cora’s contract, extending his deal through the 2024 season.

“Along with the entire Red Sox front office, I am excited for many years of continued partnership as we work together to bring another World Series trophy to Fenway Park,” said Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom.

The announcement should come as no surprise. Cora was once again the perfect man to lead the 2021 Red Sox back from a dismal 2020 season. Coming off their worst winning percentage in 55 years, the Sox returned to the postseason this fall.

In the playoffs, Cora worked his magic once again. As he did in the championship season of 2018, Cora threw traditional pitching roles out the window putting fringe starters in the bullpen and having foundational starters appear in relief between their playoff appearances.

This year’s playoff run was an unexpected gift. Fenway Park was rejuvenated with a level of energy we haven’t felt in years. The Sox eliminated the Yankees and Rays before falling two wins short of a World Series appearance. The end was disappointing, but the ride was exhilarating.

Cora’s mark on this team was felt long before the playoffs. He arrived at spring training trying to put his role in the 2017 Astros cheating scandal behind him. Cora had paid his price and said all the right things in returning to work. He also said all the right things to his players. This was a group that had been beaten up in 2020. It would’ve been easy for them to lack self-confidence.

The manager wouldn’t let that happen.

“These guys, we let them know in spring training how good they are,” Cora said at the beginning of the season. “On a daily basis you can see they’re in awe of their talent. Everybody is contributing.”

That belief had them in first place by midseason. Xander Bogaerts appeared on FOX’s coverage of the All-Star Game festivities and explained what makes Cora the perfect man for this team.

“Obviously, the confidence that he gives each and every one of us going out there,” Bogaerts told FOX. “Doesn’t matter whether you start off good, start off bad, go into a rough stretch or a good stretch, just being consistent and have a good feel for players.”

In Boston, getting players to believe in themselves through the ups and downs of a marathon season is the most important aspect of the job. There is more pressure here than in most cities. Every game is analyzed and dissected. Losses can take on added significance.

Cora understands that more than most. He won a World Series here as a player and as a manager. He understands his players, who in turn understand their role in his plans. There are few who do it better.

Which brings us back to last week’s Manager of the Year announcement. Kevin Cash (Cora’s former teammate in Boston) was a worthy winner after taking a Tampa Bay Rays team to 100 wins and the best regular-season record in the league (the award doesn’t factor in playoff performances).

The outrageous aspect of the voting was that Cora wasn’t one of the three finalists. Managers in high-profile markets (with high payrolls and high expectations) often get overlooked because their team looks good on paper. That wasn’t the case in 2021. Few picked the Red Sox to do anything, let alone make it to the AL Championship Series.

Cora didn’t get enough credit from outside media members, yet he got credit from the people who matter most to him: Red Sox management. And from Red Sox fans, who should be thrilled he’ll be back in charge of this team for years to come.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column runs on Tuesdays in the Portland Press Herald.

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