No one is more serious about the game of baseball than Alex Cora. Well, maybe, Daniel Murphy.

When I think of Cora, I think of two things: one, his 18-pitch at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers and, two, my short conversation with him in 2009, when he was playing for the New York Mets. Let’s begin with the latter first.

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“No game is as verbal as baseball; baseball spreads twenty minutes of action across three hours of a day.” – Roger Kahn, The Boys of Summer