While the CHB and Nicky Cafardo fret about the Sox failure to shore up the pen, the Sox are a whopping 41 games over .500 on the eve of their series with the MFYs. Historic numbers thus far. Yes, we've seen big leads go away, and we know that October is the important season. But the roses smell pretty good right now and the signs are quite positive. The presence of JD Martinez on the Red Sox is clearly making a huge difference. His numbers and timely hitting are obvious. But it's also pretty clear that Alex Cora and his staff have been major difference makers, as well. Two things struck me this morning about Cora. One is that we don't have a thread on SoSH about managerial second guesses. Haven't we always had such a thread? Certainly there was less to second guess with Tito than JF, but part of the fun of baseball is picking apart decision making, and John Farrell seemed to give us one or two decisions per night. To be sure, Cora has made a few head scatchers, but how many can you list off the top of your head? With Grady and Farrell, I could have reeled off ten at any time. The second was the lavish praise that John Henry recently heaped on him and, not so indirectly, the severe dumping he heaped on Farrell. From today's Globe: https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/...-postseason/v7h6H9YOENRriD6Meft5PN/story.html Granted, it's human nature to complain more about a manager than praise him, and this movie still has a long way to go, but Cora's work this year has been remarkable. Among DD's many good decisions over the last year or so, Cora may lead the list. If not, he's very near the top.