Alex Cora-- what do we have here? Perhaps the best manager in baseball.

soxhop411

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It is on the offense, but part of that is on the manager.

Cora literally announced to the rest of the baseball world that he told his guys to be aggressive and to jump on first pitches. It took the league a while to catch on, but they figured it out around the break -- the Red Sox will chase A LOT of bad pitches as part of Cora's aggressive approach. The Red Sox never adjusted. They've chased way too much crap and made for a ton of easy outs, either by striking out on pitches not even close to the zone -- like the three in a row vs. Holmes -- or making first pitch outs on pitches they should take for ball 1.

Some of that is on the hitters, but some of it is on Cora. He needed to get it through to them. Teams also figured out the Red Sox bullpen is made up of a bunch of nibblers trying to make the perfect pitch (except for Whitlock). Opposing hitters stopped chasing against the Sox relievers.

We saw the results this weekend.
Yes. But the ones that are struggling the most are not rookies. They are vets. They should be able to adjust without someone telling them to.
If the meat of our lineup (Xander, Devers/JDM etc) has a series like this in the playoffs, not much any manager could do.
 

Harry Hooper

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West is behind Vazquez. As far as he can see, the catcher dropped the foul tip. Vazquez has to say, "Joe, I dropped the ball taking it out of my glove. Ask one of your crew with a better view."

Yes, maybe Cranky Joe blows it off, but make a pitch for a second opinion.
 
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curly2

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Yes. But the ones that are struggling the most are not rookies. They are vets. They should be able to adjust without someone telling them to.
If the meat of our lineup (Xander, Devers/JDM etc) has a series like this in the playoffs, not much any manager could do.
They SHOULD, but they're obviously not. A manager needs to do more than make up a lineup card.
 

cantor44

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Yes. But the ones that are struggling the most are not rookies. They are vets. They should be able to adjust without someone telling them to.
If the meat of our lineup (Xander, Devers/JDM etc) has a series like this in the playoffs, not much any manager could do.
[/QUOTE]

Everyone except a few geniuses needs to be reminded to adjust. And adjust again. Famous, accomplished, experienced actors need directors (speaking from direct experience, I'm not a famous actor but I've worked with them) famous writers need editors. Etc. Great players need an outside eye. That's what good coaches DO. Curly2 is right on.

Cora's likable. The players like him and that means something, he seems to have their backs. Having a bilingual manager is a big plus. Though maybe Cora got lucky, right place/right time with the 2018 team. Because I really don't find him to be a good in-game manager. His work the last two months has been really bad. I listed all the puzzling (the diplomatic phrasing) things he did in this game alone in the game thread.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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So make a big show for nothing? What is it with some of you folks and manager theater?
It's not for nothing. It's an attempt to shake the team out of its malaise, to create some energy. I guess baseball managers don't do this very much anymore, but Cora certainly played in an era where this was standard operating procedure for some of the game's most successful managers.

I've stayed out of this thread for the most part because this team is so obviously flawed that a lot of its problems would be beyond any manager's ability to fix, but last night was a stunning display of passivity. If people on this board are disappointed that Cora didn't make a big deal about the missed strike out call, what do you think players in the locker room are feeling?
 

BroodsSexton

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It's not for nothing. It's an attempt to shake the team out of its malaise, to create some energy. I guess baseball managers don't do this very much anymore, but Cora certainly played in an era where this was standard operating procedure for some of the game's most successful managers.

I've stayed out of this thread for the most part because this team is so obviously flawed that a lot of its problems would be beyond any manager's ability to fix, but last night was a stunning display of passivity. If people on this board are disappointed that Cora didn't make a big deal about the missed strike out call, what do you think players in the locker room are feeling?
I agree with this mostly. But more than just making a show for the players, the reason to go out and slow the game down and find out what’s going on with West isn’t to shovel dirt on his shoes, but just to slow the game down and give a chance for something else to happen. Like a conversation with the other umpires. Or an explanation from Vazquez. If that leads to him getting thrown out, so be it. But it’s not entirely baseball theater. Especially if the play is not reviewable then he should ask what’s going on and why the call.

I assume this is just “next pitch” mentality gone too far, the idea that umpires can’t be controlled and it evens out over time. That’s surely important for players, but I do think there’s a different role for a manager. Disappointing. Unlikely it changed anything, because there’s little chance West is reconsidering his call there, but who knows, now?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Wow. I’ve heard him called a genius, but not a pre-cog. Nobody has said he doesn’t have resources or analytics at his disposal. So put that strawman to rest.

It’s easy to say “He should have just pitched Richards,” because that can never be tested counterfactually. But that isn’t really an argument. Why should he have pitched Richards instead of Hernandez?
A good manager would have known to use Richards Saturday and Hernandez Sunday. I'm sure with enough simulations you could "prove" this
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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After witnessing what this team has become since the Trade Deadline, if the Sox don't somehow make it to the ALCS, Cora should be released and Vazquez needs to go with him. It won't happen... optics of bringing Cora back and then releasing him would be just too much for the media and it would end up on Bloom and Henry's heads.
So Cora will be back even if they miss the playoffs in what truly has been some epic mismanagement of the team. Yes, the BP has collapses. The offensive studs have turned into average baseball players. Good managers would get some mileage out of their players... Cora allows the vortex to swallow everything rather than put an end to it. He looks disinterested, and it extends to Vazquez and the rest of the team. The Vazquez drop-transfer was their relationship in a fucking nutshell.
My general expectations for this team were about where they're sitting right now.... just taking the most blue-balls then ugly route to get there which has turned into a big disappointment. Back in June I was hanging out at a local bar (ATX) and talking with the bartender about Houston and the Sox and he was pointing out how their run differential indicated that Houston was going to be back in it... I pointed out the reverse and said I expected regression. As it's been discussed plenty of times here... the regression was just ugly AF and in my opinion, a good manager would be able to figure out ways to stop the bleeding.
This is a team that needs to figure out how to change course and to stop bad momentum. It doesn't. It "stays the course" and rides bad momentum hoping for the big hit or the big miracle play which just compounds pressure on the players to be that guy that has the big moment. I also don't think the team has the type of players that can figure out how to do small things. I don't know exactly what... but my mind keeps going to speedier players that can bunt for a base hit and then steal a base. Seems like a massive market inefficiency right now.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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After witnessing what this team has become since the Trade Deadline, if the Sox don't somehow make it to the ALCS, Cora should be released and Vazquez needs to go with him. It won't happen... optics of bringing Cora back and then releasing him would be just too much for the media and it would end up on Bloom and Henry's heads.
So Cora will be back even if they miss the playoffs in what truly has been some epic mismanagement of the team. Yes, the BP has collapses. The offensive studs have turned into average baseball players. Good managers would get some mileage out of their players... Cora allows the vortex to swallow everything rather than put an end to it. He looks disinterested, and it extends to Vazquez and the rest of the team. The Vazquez drop-transfer was their relationship in a fucking nutshell.
My general expectations for this team were about where they're sitting right now.... just taking the most blue-balls then ugly route to get there which has turned into a big disappointment. Back in June I was hanging out at a local bar (ATX) and talking with the bartender about Houston and the Sox and he was pointing out how their run differential indicated that Houston was going to be back in it... I pointed out the reverse and said I expected regression. As it's been discussed plenty of times here... the regression was just ugly AF and in my opinion, a good manager would be able to figure out ways to stop the bleeding.
This is a team that needs to figure out how to change course and to stop bad momentum. It doesn't. It "stays the course" and rides bad momentum hoping for the big hit or the big miracle play which just compounds pressure on the players to be that guy that has the big moment. I also don't think the team has the type of players that can figure out how to do small things. I don't know exactly what... but my mind keeps going to speedier players that can bunt for a base hit and then steal a base. Seems like a massive market inefficiency right now.
So, the team is roughly where you thought it would be at the start of the season but because of the route the team has taken to get there, including a regression you saw coming, the manager has to go because a "good" manager would have been able to stop the inevitable from happening? That's some...logic...you've got working there.

I'm not going to defend Cora. He's made some bad decisions. He's made some good decisions. He's at best an average manager, which over the course of the history of this franchise puts him in the upper echelon. He's not a magician. He can't wave a wand and make the ills of this team better overnight. I'm hard pressed to come up with a manager who could, mainly because I don't think managers can be that kind of difference maker. Bad managers can fuck up a good team. I don't think the reverse is true though. This is a flawed team. A different manager wouldn't make a difference.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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He’s too passive. He even thought the West blown call last night was a foul tip that Vaz never caught. The pressers are always of them “we played hard” type. He’s a payers’ manager which is fine but there’s not enough urgency to get on them to improve. They’re still playing terrible defense, still walking too many batters, still grooving batting practice fastballs, and still getting smoked by good teams (9-21 in their last 30 against teams .500 or better). And Cora has been a mere passenger for all of it, nothing ever changes.

It’s nowhere near good enough.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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So, the team is roughly where you thought it would be at the start of the season but because of the route the team has taken to get there, including a regression you saw coming, the manager has to go because a "good" manager would have been able to stop the inevitable from happening? That's some...logic...you've got working there.

I'm not going to defend Cora. He's made some bad decisions. He's made some good decisions. He's at best an average manager, which over the course of the history of this franchise puts him in the upper echelon. He's not a magician. He can't wave a wand and make the ills of this team better overnight. I'm hard pressed to come up with a manager who could, mainly because I don't think managers can be that kind of difference maker. Bad managers can fuck up a good team. I don't think the reverse is true though. This is a flawed team. A different manager wouldn't make a difference.
I don't think it faulty logic....
My early expectations were about to see the team where they are right now. Then they greatly exceeded expectations by getting otherwordly production from their core players and bullpen and shockingly good starts from the likes of Perez and Richards. When the team began to regress it happened at such a time in which expectations would have been adjusted to where they were at the middle of July (far greater than my earlier expectations), to at least be in the hunt for the ALEast title--despite warning signs that a collapse was possible. A good manager I believe would have been able to read all those warning signs and made adjustments at least enough to stop the bleeding. Bleeding which IMO was stoppable, if not at least stoppable enough to prevent the collapse to this extent. Bleeding which was partly due to direct bad player management, bullpen and game management. It doesn't matter if they lucked out a shitton in the first half. That's where they were.
From that point he didn't have to be a magician... just a better manager of the players collapse and changing his "stay the course" strategy- aggresive first pitch swinging being just one example.
 

OurF'ingCity

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He’s too passive. He even thought the West blown call last night was a foul tip that Vaz never caught. The pressers are always of them “we played hard” type. He’s a payers’ manager which is fine but there’s not enough urgency to get on them to improve. They’re still playing terrible defense, still walking too many batters, still grooving batting practice fastballs, and still getting smoked by good teams (9-21 in their last 30 against teams .500 or better). And Cora has been a mere passenger for all of it, nothing ever changes.

It’s nowhere near good enough.
Cora is really starting to remind me of Doc Rivers - he can be a great coach on a team that is itself already very good and that has a lot of veteran leadership, established roles, etc.

But he appears to just not have the skill set necessary to deal with situations where there are a lot of mediocre/limited players on the team and he has to be the one figuring out where the strengths and weaknesses of each one lie and how to mix and match those strengths and weaknesses in the most optimal way.
 

YTF

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Yeah, it’s not a challenge but he just sat chewing gum. Yell, fight for your guys, SOMETHING. You’re in the midst of getting swept by your rival at home and falling close to out of the playoffs, you need some fire there. Don’t get tossed, but argue. Stand up. Anything.
Perhaps he meant it when pre game he seemed to be downplaying things about it being just another game. One of 162. The visible lack of passion/intensity/fire in certain instances is really is hard to watch at times.
 

Sin Duda

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As of yesterday's games, ESPN playoff predictor has the Red Sox at 87%, NYY 81%, TOR 28%, SEA 3%, OAK 1% (all % rounded). I will be satisfied to see them make the playoffs in a year in which I had only medium hope for such a scenario, and low expectations. The second half record against .500 teams likely indicates how the playoffs will go for our team, but, to me, the arrow is pointed up with the payroll reset, the farm system restocked and performing, and some high-profile prospects on the way.

As someone who used to assist with personality testing assessment, I know that "people are complex and varied" (the tag line of my mentor). So when one of us goes off on Cora or Vasquez of whomever the target du jour is, I recognize that that SoSH member has a much lower tolerance for mistakes or sees patterns in a person's failings quicker than I do. I tend to be optimistic toward the team (even pollyannish), so I can look at those numbers posted above and think, "successful season, the Sox will make the playoffs" because I think they will regroup this week and win 4 games and that should be enough. The numbers say we are likely to host the wildcard game in a week (remember, we hold the tiebreaker). I hope we can all enjoy this week even if NYY rips off 6 more wins in a row.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't think it faulty logic....
My early expectations were about to see the team where they are right now. Then they greatly exceeded expectations by getting otherwordly production from their core players and bullpen and shockingly good starts from the likes of Perez and Richards. When the team began to regress it happened at such a time in which expectations would have been adjusted to where they were at the middle of July (far greater than my earlier expectations), to at least be in the hunt for the ALEast title--despite warning signs that a collapse was possible. A good manager I believe would have been able to read all those warning signs and made adjustments at least enough to stop the bleeding. Bleeding which IMO was stoppable, if not at least stoppable enough to prevent the collapse to this extent. Bleeding which was partly due to direct bad player management, bullpen and game management. It doesn't matter if they lucked out a shitton in the first half. That's where they were.
From that point he didn't have to be a magician... just a better manager of the players collapse and changing his "stay the course" strategy- aggresive first pitch swinging being just one example.
Sorry, but what you're describing as "stopping the bleeding" is asking him to be a magician. They "lucked out a shitton in the first half" (which I can't disagree with) but somehow when that luck ran out, he was supposed to push all the right buttons to turn a lucky but flawed team into a good team that didn't need luck to remain on a 100+ win pace (.628 winning percentage on July 5 when they last had a 4.5 game lead in the division = 101.7 win pace)? Is there a manager you think could have done it? I don't.

I think we exaggerate the impact a manager can have on making a team better than they are.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Stanton was 7-13 with 3 HRs and 10 RBI in this series. If I were manager I absolutely would have buzzed him at some point. Much too comfortable in the box. I know that’s barbaric but you have to change things up in desperate times.
 

NYCSox

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Cora is really starting to remind me of Doc Rivers - he can be a great coach on a team that is itself already very good and that has a lot of veteran leadership, established roles, etc.

But he appears to just not have the skill set necessary to deal with situations where there are a lot of mediocre/limited players on the team and he has to be the one figuring out where the strengths and weaknesses of each one lie and how to mix and match those strengths and weaknesses in the most optimal way.
I think the problem is that there are a number of every day players who really are not MLB every day players. X, Devers, JD and maybe Schwarber (he's a close call) make up the group of every day players.

But Kike, Renfroe, Dalbec, Verdugo and Arroyo have enough limitations that they should be semi-regular (or maybe just a little more). Compare that to the Rays who have a roster of semi-regular players but they have enough depth to utilize them in ways that maximizes their production.

And Vazquez just blows.
 

geoduck no quahog

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So...did Boone completely out-manage Cora this weekend?

Or did the Boston players just generally suck?

Or is NY's pitching staff far superior to Boston's?

Or was it all luck in favor of the Yankees?
 

OurF'ingCity

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I think the problem is that there are a number of every day players who really are not MLB every day players. X, Devers, JD and maybe Schwarber (he's a close call) make up the group of every day players.

But Kike, Renfroe, Dalbec, Verdugo and Arroyo have enough limitations that they should be semi-regular (or maybe just a little more). Compare that to the Rays who have a roster of semi-regular players but they have enough depth to utilize them in ways that maximizes their production.

And Vazquez just blows.
Yeah, certainly no question that roster depth (pitching and hitting) is the larger issue. And I would say that “falls” on Bloom, but I’m not sure it really “falls” on anyone given the hole they had to dig themselves out of beginning in 2019.

That said, if the Sox miss the playoffs it will be because they lost a handful of very winnable games throughout the season (how many times have we had a “worst lost of the year” this year?), and Cora’s decision making (or lack thereof) was a key factor in virtually all of those losses. That’s precisely where a manager’s value reveals itself - anyone can manage a behemoth, and anyone can manage a total tire-fire, but ideally you want your manager to help you get those handful of marginal wins that make or break a season and Cora just hasn’t done that, which raises the question of what value he has provided the team at all this year.
 

The Filthy One

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So...did Boone completely out-manage Cora this weekend?

Or did the Boston players just generally suck?

Or is NY's pitching staff far superior to Boston's?

Or was it all luck in favor of the Yankees?
All of these played some role in the sweep, but in my opinion, pitching depth was the story of the series. When the Yankees drew up their season, I doubt it included using any of the guys they leaned on in their bullpen beyond Chapman and Green. But they were able to get good performances out of Holmes, King, Rodriguez, Severino, etc. This is without Loaisiga, who had been their best reliever for most the year (let alone Britton, who hasn't been consistently available to them all year). Boston, on the other hand, couldn't go to Taylor or Whitlock all series due to injury. Barnes had been brutal and then out with COVID, which limited his chances to get back on track. The guys they called on to replace those pitchers were simply not good enough.
 

NYCSox

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Yeah, certainly no question that roster depth (pitching and hitting) is the larger issue. And I would say that “falls” on Bloom, but I’m not sure it really “falls” on anyone given the hole they had to dig themselves out of beginning in 2019.

That said, if the Sox miss the playoffs it will be because they lost a handful of very winnable games throughout the season (how many times have we had a “worst lost of the year” this year?), and Cora’s decision making (or lack thereof) was a key factor in virtually all of those losses. That’s precisely where a manager’s value reveals itself - anyone can manage a behemoth, and anyone can manage a total tire-fire, but ideally you want your manager to help you get those handful of marginal wins that make or break a season and Cora just hasn’t done that, which raises the question of what value he has provided the team at all this year.
Oh Cora deserves a ton of blame, particularly for having a team whose baseball IQ is about as wretched as it gets. Which is a shock considering how Cora was such a high baseball IQ player himself.
 

jtn46

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It was an egregiously bad call, and a crucial situation. Made me want to chew my arms off. I wonder if the fact that it was Joe West — who everyone on the field has to know is on a farewell tour — had to do with it. A lesser-profile ump and you’d let him have it.

Judge struck out. Give Stanton a free pass there and there’s a good chance Ottavino gets Gallo and we’re out of it. Just an absurdly bad call for Joe West to go out on.
Why is there a good chance he gets Gallo? Gallo reached on a HBP vs Ottavino that inning and Ottavino is bad vs lefties generally.
 

InsideTheParker

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It is on the offense, but part of that is on the manager.

Cora literally announced to the rest of the baseball world that he told his guys to be aggressive and to jump on first pitches. It took the league a while to catch on, but they figured it out around the break -- the Red Sox will chase A LOT of bad pitches as part of Cora's aggressive approach. The Red Sox never adjusted. They've chased way too much crap and made for a ton of easy outs, either by striking out on pitches not even close to the zone -- like the three in a row vs. Holmes -- or making first pitch outs on pitches they should take for ball 1.

Some of that is on the hitters, but some of it is on Cora. He needed to get it through to them. Teams also figured out the Red Sox bullpen is made up of a bunch of nibblers trying to make the perfect pitch (except for Whitlock). Opposing hitters stopped chasing against the Sox relievers.

We saw the results this weekend.
I agree entirely with this post. It was hard to either watch or read about the NYY being patient, hitting oppo, etc. and the Sox making out after out. I thought they were supposed to have learned patience from observing Schwarber. (O'Brien's frequently repeated point). What ever happened to that?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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So...did Boone completely out-manage Cora this weekend?

Or did the Boston players just generally suck?

Or is NY's pitching staff far superior to Boston's?

Or was it all luck in favor of the Yankees?
Boston's bullpen had been Lights Out for a few weeks, and then shit the bed, one and all. Not much a manager can do in that situation
 

grimshaw

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Vazquez not saying a thing was the main problem in that sequence. I'm not sure what good could come out of arguing with a dude just itching to make it about him one last time. There's a chance he gets tossed with the game on the line. If you want to put it on Cora that he isn't holding his players accountable, then fine but it's completely unknowable to us what he says to them in the dugout or in the clubhouse. Attaching wins or losses to that is just not quantifiable and seems like a waste of time to analyze.

A good manager would have known to use Richards Saturday and Hernandez Sunday. I'm sure with enough simulations you could "prove" this
But mostly this. I'm sure Cora just ignored all the sabermetrically saturated and laminated scouting reports, skipped meetings, ran out of darts and gut feelings and went to his hunches.
 
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OurF'ingCity

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Attaching wins or losses to that is just not quantifiable and seems like a waste of time to analyze
I agree with you to the extent I don’t think every team failing or losing streak is necessarily the fault of the manager.

But virtually nothing a manager does is quantifiable because it’s all hypothetical/counterfactual. So does that mean we should just never take a manager to task because we can never know how much a given decision impacted a game? Just because you can’t put a number on something doesn’t mean it can’t be analyzed.
 

jtn46

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Boston's bullpen had been Lights Out for a few weeks, and then shit the bed, one and all. Not much a manager can do in that situation
Yeah and they put up 9 runs total in the series and the third run yesterday was due to the Yankees misplaying 2 popups, Some perfect storm of slumps, bad luck, some hitters pressing and good Yankee pitching.

Montgomery really flirted with danger all season vs the Sox and always pitched out of it.

I would probably knock Cora only for benching Schwarber, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Schwarber is playing through something and needed a 2-day break. I didn’t like stealing outs with Richards in a second inning but the pen is in such tough shape I get it, they are just a mess in the 8th now. The Whitlock injury was such a killer for this series.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I agree with you to the extent I don’t think every team failing or losing streak is necessarily the fault of the manager.

But virtually nothing a manager does is quantifiable because it’s all hypothetical/counterfactual. So does that mean we should just never take a manager to task because we can never know how much a given decision impacted a game? Just because you can’t put a number on something doesn’t mean it can’t be analyzed.
I don't think a manager is blame-free and can't be taken to task for decisions he makes, but it has to go beyond "that didn't work out so he must have fucked it up". There's also a difference between he made an irrefutably dumb decision (like Grady leaving in Pedro) and he made a defensible decision that didn't end the way we wanted (say, bringing in a lefty to face a lefty with two outs and a slim lead). With the latter, a healthy discussion/debate can be had about possible alternatives. That doesn't often seem to be the case, though.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I don't think a manager is blame-free and can't be taken to task for decisions he makes, but it has to go beyond "that didn't work out so he must have fucked it up". There's also a difference between he made an irrefutably dumb decision (like Grady leaving in Pedro) and he made a defensible decision that didn't end the way we wanted (say, bringing in a lefty to face a lefty with two outs and a slim lead). With the latter, a healthy discussion/debate can be had about possible alternatives. That doesn't often seem to be the case, though.
In a one-game sample I completely agree, and this is why I was a pretty staunch Cora defender earlier in the season when their slide began. But there have easily been at last 6-7 games now where Cora's bullpen decisions have been baffling, and not just in hindsight. That matters when the Sox are likely to make or miss the playoffs by a game or two, even though It's not even close to the biggest issue this team is currently facing/
 

scottyno

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I think the problem is that there are a number of every day players who really are not MLB every day players. X, Devers, JD and maybe Schwarber (he's a close call) make up the group of every day players.

But Kike, Renfroe, Dalbec, Verdugo and Arroyo have enough limitations that they should be semi-regular (or maybe just a little more). Compare that to the Rays who have a roster of semi-regular players but they have enough depth to utilize them in ways that maximizes their production.

And Vazquez just blows.
If this is your definition of MLB every day players the Yankees must have like 2.
 

joe dokes

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In a one-game sample I completely agree, and this is why I was a pretty staunch Cora defender earlier in the season when their slide began. But there have easily been at last 6-7 games now where Cora's bullpen decisions have been baffling, and not just in hindsight. That matters when the Sox are likely to make or miss the playoffs by a game or two, even though It's not even close to the biggest issue this team is currently facing/
How does that compare with other teams' managers?
 

soxhop411

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In a one-game sample I completely agree, and this is why I was a pretty staunch Cora defender earlier in the season when their slide began. But there have easily been at last 6-7 games now where Cora's bullpen decisions have been baffling, and not just in hindsight. That matters when the Sox are likely to make or miss the playoffs by a game or two, even though It's not even close to the biggest issue this team is currently facing/
again though, there was that period a few months ago where literally every starter was unable to go 5 innings.... When something like that happens constantly its going to burn out your BP and no manager would prevent that
 

scottyno

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How does that compare with other teams' managers?
The Sox are 5th in bullpen era in the AL, 4th in holds, tied for 11th in blown saves (they have the 3rd most save chances in the AL so in context 11th doesn't seem terrible).

So considering we already assumed the pen was a weakness from the start, Barnes falling apart midseason, and COVID taking out most of the pen for 2 weeks, that seems like Cora must be doing something right.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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A lot of this seasons success in the first half of the year was built on strong performances from the pen- namely Whitlock, Barnes, Ottavino (and to a lesser extent Sawamura and Taylor). All those guys have been worse in the second half (Whitlock only slightly so, the others dramatically). Otto has a 6.35 era in the second half, which has been especially challenging with Whitlock out and Barnes borderline unusable. Robles, Davis, and Richards have had their moments but they aren’t as reliable as the first half standouts we’re.

If they can just finish this week strong and get in, the season starts anew and the team can write how it’s remembered. It’s stressful and all that and said that the season is ending sooner rather than later, but might as well enjoy the ride. The team had the talent and capability to do some damage, none of the AL teams seem unbeatable.
 

joe dokes

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The Sox are 5th in bullpen era in the AL, 4th in holds, tied for 11th in blown saves (they have the 3rd most save chances in the AL so in context 11th doesn't seem terrible).

So considering we already assumed the pen was a weakness from the start, Barnes falling apart midseason, and COVID taking out most of the pen for 2 weeks, that seems like Cora must be doing something right.
I think the second sentence is the key. But as to the first, "Save chances" and "blown saves" are so terribly misleading because a 1 run lead in the 6th is a save chance, getting a run-scoring DP with the bases loaded and none out in that 6th inning is a blown save, and "blown saves" dont always end up in "losses." Nothing goes into the positive side of the saves column for the guy who gets out of that 6th inning jam with no runs. It's not until the 8th or (usually) the 9th that its really a save chance. Otherwise It's only a save chance if it's blown. Obviously all teams are measured the same way, so it's not totally useless, but one team's "chances" might be a lot different from another's.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think the second sentence is the key. But as to the first, "Save chances" and "blown saves" are so terribly misleading because a 1 run lead in the 6th is a save chance, getting a run-scoring DP with the bases loaded and none out in that 6th inning is a blown save, and "blown saves" dont always end up in "losses." Nothing goes into the positive side of the saves column for the guy who gets out of that 6th inning jam with no runs. It's not until the 8th or (usually) the 9th that its really a save chance. Otherwise It's only a save chance if it's blown. Obviously all teams are measured the same way, so it's not totally useless, but one team's "chances" might be a lot different from another's.
To the bolded, that guy usually gets credited with a hold. I think the context in which scotty posted those stats was to point out that the bullpen, by and large, has been fairly good (roughly top 1/3 in the league) at holding leads. Blown save = blown lead. Holds + saves = held leads.

The trouble the team has had more often than not in games they've lost is getting a lead. Either the offense is stagnant or the starter gets lit up or both. It's also why they're at the top of the league in come from behind wins. Early deficits erased by a combination of good offense and solid relief.
 

grimshaw

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I agree with you to the extent I don’t think every team failing or losing streak is necessarily the fault of the manager.

But virtually nothing a manager does is quantifiable because it’s all hypothetical/counterfactual. So does that mean we should just never take a manager to task because we can never know how much a given decision impacted a game? Just because you can’t put a number on something doesn’t mean it can’t be analyzed.
I'm referring to anything other than in game stuff that we can observe.

I already assume he has a good reason to use the players the way he does because the people who rehired him think he's great at that - or good enough to complement every other part of the job. I just don't get reactionary over the small stuff because he obviously buys into analytics, and is rolling with the percentages along with any other in game issues going on. They look like egregious mistakes when they don't work out.
 
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joe dokes

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To the bolded, that guy usually gets credited with a hold. I think the context in which scotty posted those stats was to point out that the bullpen, by and large, has been fairly good (roughly top 1/3 in the league) at holding leads. Blown save = blown lead. Holds + saves = held leads.

The trouble the team has had more often than not in games they've lost is getting a lead. Either the offense is stagnant or the starter gets lit up or both. It's also why they're at the top of the league in come from behind wins. Early deficits erased by a combination of good offense and solid relief.
I agree the bullpen has been mostly solid and think that Coras done a good job of managing its tattered remains since mid July.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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So, baseball players won't fail if they just concentrate and focus as hard as possible? I think that's venturing hard into the territory of attributing a player's success to "intangibles".
 

cantor44

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The Red Sox have talent, but structural problems on the roster. Maybe not making the playoffs forces more systemic change (though that might be hard until after 2022, given the state of contracts). Can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish it would mean a new manager, too, but that's certainly politically impossible - would just be a terrible look for the organization. Cora not to blame for everything, but he sure as shit didn't help. The team characterized by undisciplined, unintelligent play, and an astonishing inability to learn from mistakes (Cora didn't seem to learn from his either). Cora's even-handed manner has its merits, but became a two-edged sword, as the team often mirrored his lack of urgency. He doesn't seem to have a killer instinct, epitomized by his complacent acceptance of West's blown call on Sunday.

Maybe they should have found a new voice for 2021. Cora, though flawed, IS a legit major league manager. But rehiring him was, in a sense, living in the past. A scandal had him sit out, and now the organization was in a new moment, and could have used a new voice. I like Cora (his public persona at least). But in a season far more complicated than 2018, he hasn't acquitted himself well.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The offense is in a funk. Someone for the love of fucking god, BUNT!!! I feel that Kiké, Verdugo, X and/or Arroyo/Iglesias should have the type of coordination to place down a good bunt. Steal a base. Generate something!
I've never been a bunt-steal-small ball guy... but I'm past changing my mind on that. Successful teams can adapt to new challenges and the way teams are structured right now... a team that can have a few slap hitting, bunting, stolen base speedy guys mixed in with the 3-true-outcome types is the way to go. Top to bottom, no. But when the offense is struggling playing that type of baseball can generate some energy and disrupt the defense and opponents pitching.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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So, baseball players won't fail if they just concentrate and focus as hard as possible? I think that's venturing hard into the territory of attributing a player's success to "intangibles".
They got set down on 12 pitches over 2 innings by guys wearing numbers in the 80s for the worst team in baseball.

They had 3 hits and 2 errors last night.
In the middle of a playoff race. In a game they needed to win.

Nothing could more clearly show the lack of focus and effort but that. That’s the lamest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen.