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July 9, 2019

Alex Cora

Cleveland, Ohio

Q. That was interesting bringing in CC there right before the last out. Was that planned? And what was the whole thought process of that?
ALEX CORA: It was recognized that he's one of the best pitchers in the Big Leagues for the last, what, 15 years. The guy has won more than 250 games, 3,000 strikeouts. Everything started here in Cleveland. We all know he's going to retire, so we wanted to let everybody know who he is and I think it was a nice tribute.

Q. Just kind of overall your experience being around the game's best and the best players?
ALEX CORA: It was amazing. It was amazing. As a baseball fan you just sit there and listen to them talk in the dugout and sharing thoughts and just talking the game. That's what it's all about. The last few days, I never envisioned myself in an All-Star Game. Obviously we did and we get the opportunity to be here, but overall it's one of the best baseball experience I've ever had in my life.

Q. What was it like having Terry Francona on your staff? And did he give you any pressure to get Brad Hand out of the game?
ALEX CORA: Actually the other way around. He's just like, keep him pitching. He hasn't pitched since July 4th or something. They'll be ready for Friday.

It was great. I've known Tito for a while. Everybody knows about his career, what he's done as a manager, and to have him around it was just not only great for me but for the whole staff and the players.

Q. You put Mookie in the game but he didn't get an at-bat. Was that the plan the whole time?
ALEX CORA: That was the plan, yeah.

Q. Why did he not want to have one?
ALEX CORA: There were other guys that we wanted to play. There were a lot of first-timers. And we kind of like mapped it out. And he was going to come up in the 9th. It just happened that we won the game.

Q. You probably don't know much about Shane Bieber's rapid rise. But the way he struck out the side, just how kind of dominant was that for a kid in his first game?
ALEX CORA: He's a good pitcher. Good fastball. Good mix, talking to Tito, he's a great person, too. And it was electric out there, the fans got in it and it was fun. And I'm glad that he got the MVP. He plays at this level. He's really good. There's a reason the Indians are playing the way they're playing, and he's one of them.

Q. What did you think of the Berrios-Baez matchup there? And were you hoping for?
ALEX CORA: That was the whole thing, I was trying to get that one again. And it was fun. I know what it means to the family. Obviously I know what it means for the people back home. And I know what it means for them, too. So they had fun with it and hopefully they can face each other a lot in All-Star Games.

Q. It was a very nice tribute to Carlos Carrasco.
ALEX CORA: It kind of caught me off guard, because I knew what I had to do with Dave behind the plate. When I saw him, it puts everything in perspective. We get caught up in wins and losses and pennant races and all that stuff and rivalries, and then that happens. And there's more than baseball in life. And we're thinking and praying for him, his family and hopefully he can be back on the field sooner rather than later.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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