Alex Cora doesn’t sound excited at all for Andrew Benintendi-Yankees marriage

BOSTON, MA - MAY 1: Manager Alex Cora and Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate a victory against the Oakland Athletics on May 1, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 1: Manager Alex Cora and Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate a victory against the Oakland Athletics on May 1, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees both locked horns atop the American League in the month of June, when Boston’s soft schedule combined with the Yankees’ early dominance led to dueling months of 22-6 for the Bombers and 20-6 for the Sox.

Once the calendar turned to July, the Yankees began to stumble a bit, showing cracks ahead of the trade deadline and sputtering to a .500 mark from June 19 to present. The Red Sox? They dropped balls, tripped over invisible benches, and hucked cutoff throws into the seats at a remarkable pace, setting the record for the worst modern run differential in a five-game span while falling out of playoff position.

It’s been the kind of July that can make a manager salty, especially when the scuffling Yankees ahead of him show the drive and determination to make early, meaningful upgrades to their roster.

Sox skipper Alex Cora was approached on Thursday and asked about the Yankees’ late-night deal for Andrew Benintendi, a Gold Glove outfielder and contact specialist who once upon a time played for Boston. It’s true! You can look it up. He was also traded for a package including Franchy Cordero, who made three errors at first base Wednesday, then started at first base again on Thursday.

Maintaining some frostiness likely left over from Benintendi’s departure to Kansas City — as well as general unease surrounding the Yankees — Cora sounded less than pleased that his former pupil was shaving in the Bronx nowadays.

Yankees nabbing Andrew Benintendi has left Red Sox manager Alex Cora salty

Happy for the person. Honestly … you don’t even really sound that happy for the person, man!

Cora and Benintendi didn’t have the most free and easy relationship in Boston, despite the outfielder’s heroics en route to a 2018 title. Starting the very next season, Cora chose to move Benintendi to the leadoff spot to try to get him on base ahead of Mookie Betts. This change clearly made Benintendi uncomfortable — or was it something else? — and led to early-season scuffles, including a 3-for-37 mark atop the lineup.

By the time he departed Boston after the 2021 season, he was coming off a .103 average in 14 games worth of a shortened campaign. Everything turned around after that, though, with Benintendi’s contact-first approach returning under new management in Kansas City.

The ex-Sox star showed up fresh, clean-shaven and rocking the pinstripes prior to Thursday’s game, in which Aaron Boone had him batting leadoff. Perhaps that was one final dig supplied by Cora?

Whether Benintendi bats leadoff, cleanup, or cleans up helmets, Yankees fans hope this marriage ends up more Wade Boggs/Johnny Damon than Jacoby Ellsbury.

Anything that results in a title — and makes Alex Cora seethe 10% extra — is worth the price of admission.