UM coaches reflect on alumni playing in 2018 World Series

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - While tuning in to watch the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight, some will notice two former University of Miami athletes: Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal.

“I’m happy that somebody from the Canes is gonna be a world champion at the end of this thing,” UM Hurricanes head baseball coach Gino Dimare said.

Cora was a member of the 1996 Hurricanes team that went all the way to the national championship game, where they fell to Louisiana State University. He went on to play 14 seasons as a professional in Major League Baseball — spending stints with both the Red Sox and Dodgers.

In his first season as manager, Cora led the Red Sox to 108 wins, a franchise record.

“His baseball IQ has always been head and shoulders above everybody else,” Hurricanes associate head coach J.D. Arteaga said. “When he was a player here, just sitting around watching the game on TV. Sometimes it wasn’t enjoyable because the way he watched it and the way he talked about it, it wasn’t the same.”

Grandal spent three seasons at UM. In 2010, he hit 15 home runs, earning an Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year award. Now, as one of the best catchers in the league, he has a chance to add a World Series victory to his resume.

“I just remember how polished he was as a player coming in as a freshman,” Dimare said. “He looked like he belonged in professional ball. He had the physical stature of himself. The way he caught. The way he threw, and of course he was a switch hitter, and he had power from both sides. It’s one of those things you just kept saying to yourself, ‘I can’t believe we got this guy on campus.'”

When it comes to who they’re rooting for in the World Series, it’s no secret the coaches are going for the colorful socks.

“Although I was born in Miami, all my brother and my parents are born in Boston so huge, huge Red Sox fan,” said Dimare.

“We’re definitely rooting for Alex Cora, and some of the other guys in that staff,” Arteaga added.

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