When he gets a text message from Alex Cora, Joseamid Rodriguez is all goosebumps. He pulls out his phone to show a recent text exchange with the Red Sox manager, in which Rodriguez congratulates Cora for clinching a spot in the playoffs, then pulls up his arm to prove he gets goosebumps.
“He’s a person who always answers our texts, and it makes you feel so proud,” he says. “When a friend writes who now has such a high position as manager of the Red Sox — my hairs are standing right now!”
Rodriguez owns The Wings, a sports bar in Cora’s hometown of Caguas, about 20 miles south of San Juan. On the wall is a signed Cora baseball cap, alongside jerseys from current and former Puerto Rican ballplayers across the major leagues: Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltrán, Roberto Alomar.
There’s also signed jerseys from Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams. That’s because Rodriguez is a big Yankees fan.
But he says he swells with pride having Cora as a friend.