Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez turned in a solid start against the Houston Astros on Monday night in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series (BOS 12, HOU 3). One of the most intriguing parts of his start, however, was what happened as he left the field following the top of the sixth inning.
After coercing Astros shortstop Carlos Correa into a frame-inning ground out, Rodriguez decided to give Correa a taste of his own taunting medicine by tapping at an imaginary wristwatch, the way Correa did following his dramatic Game 1 home run. What made the moment stand out is how Red Sox manager Alex Cora responded to Rodriguez's bit of gamesmanship: by screaming at Rodriguez to cut it out.
Take a look at the entire scene as it played out on color television:
Cora's issue with Rodriguez's celebration is that he doesn't want to give Correa and the Astros additional motivation. It may seem silly -- after all, the Astros should be amped up as it is given the stakes -- but it's the kind of thing that professional athletes and their coaches fret about from time to time. Cora also has a relationship with Correa dating back to when he was Houston's bench coach.
"Don't do that," Cora said after the game, regarding what he told Rodriguez (via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald). "We don't act that way. We just show up, we play and we move on. He knows. I let him know. We don't have to do that. Besides that, he was outstanding."
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Cora also told reporters that he wasn't still mad at Rodriguez and it was similar to when he disciplines his twin sons.
Rodriguez was lifted to begin the seventh inning in favor of reliever Hansel Robles. Rodriguez's final line saw him complete six innings, allow three runs on five hits, and strike out seven batters on a total of 97 pitches in the blowout win.