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

scottyno

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I think we may be underestimating their collective psyche after the Yanks nuked them this past weekend. They were hot coming in, feeling good and knew this was a big season both in the playoffs chase and as a measuring stick. They have heard the talk that they can’t play with the big boys and only beat up on the little sisters of the poor. So what happens, they get blown out Friday night and then have two emotional gut busting losses on Saturday and Sunday. Last nights game looked like a team whose mind was elsewhere. Stunned, shocked and maybe realistic may have crept in after Sunday. Woukdnt surprise me if they are low energy/focus again tonight.
If you ignore the 4 or 5 times in the last 2 months when they had several gut punch losses in a row everyone called season over and then they bounced back right afterwards sure
 

Wolong51

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I’m curious. Living out here in the Berkshires, I don’t get the daily dose of the Boston media.
If the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs, where are the usual media suspects going to assign the blame?
Cora/Bloom/Ownership/Players?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I’m curious. Living out here in the Berkshires, I don’t get the daily dose of the Boston media.
If the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs, where are the usual media suspects going to assign the blame?
Cora/Bloom/Ownership/Players?
The responsible media will say this team played over their heads much of the year and took great strides towards being a front runner next year.
 

Harry Hooper

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If you ignore the 4 or 5 times in the last 2 months when they had several gut punch losses in a row everyone called season over and then they bounced back right afterwards sure
My initial thought was the same as yours, but this past weekend was the first time in a long while where the team was at about full strength. Maybe that intensified the losses for the team.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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My initial thought was the same as yours, but this past weekend was the first time in a long while where the team was at about full strength. Maybe that intensified the losses for the team.
Minus their top three relievers, though. And of course the pen lost them two of those games.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Does @Rovin Romine still want Cora fired? He's now 12 and 2 in the post season. Just like we used to have Playoff Tito, we know have Playoff Alex. Some people have forgotten that. Games are managed differently in the playoffs and Alex recognizes the fact.
 

scottyno

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Does @Rovin Romine still want Cora fired? He's now 12 and 2 in the post season. Just like we used to have Playoff Tito, we know have Playoff Alex. Some people have forgotten that. Games are managed differently in the playoffs and Alex recognizes the fact.
Managed the regular season pretty damn well too. If he lets Houck go an extra inning Saturday is he available or as effective blowing the yankees away in the 7th tonight?
 

pk1627

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He’s only beaten the MFY 4-1 in playoff games. But they lost a game in Baltimore. So he needs to go
 

Rovin Romine

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I mean it's a discussion board. You really wanted to spend your whole summer dunking on Cora?
Did I?

Bitching on game threads is one thing, but here on the main board, I don't think I've done so.

My actual opinions on Cora are not hard to find, and they're not as extreme as you might think:

That said, I'd rather just enjoy the day and last night's victory, which was awesome.

As I said a couple of weeks back, I'm out of the thread. You can do whatever analysis of Cora you want without my input. Last night's game was exceptionally well-managed by Cora. If a single game changes anyone's opinion (pro or con) on Cora's overall managerial tendencies, and his strengths and weaknesses. . .well, that's what it is.

Please don't ping me in this thread.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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This was really your first thought when we won a single post season game?
It certainly wasn’t my first thought, but I do admit then whenever I think “people really do hate Cora” or hear criticisms of him, you’re the first SOSH poster that comes to mind as sort of the embodiment of the arguments.

I generally don’t participate in the managerial criticism game because it just always feels too tinged with hindsight and confirmation bias. But I do think last night really should be an occasion to look back on the body of work for the year. It certainly is remarkable what this team was able to achieve in a stacked division. It was not a roster that inspired confidence, its ace was injured much of the year, the bullpen had no clearly defined roles for a large part of the year, it is hard to construct an adequate defensive 8 out of this weird assortment and also have optimal offense, and it got hit with the league’s worst pandemic outbreak.

The team played as more than the sum of its parts for good chunks of the year. And I doubt you had too many managers in baseball who had to do more coin flip managing on the fly on a regular basis than Cora, often choosing between suboptimal choices.

I don’t know how much of that is on the manager. Cora has two very core philosophies that if you disagree with can make you crazy. Given the choice between taking guys out to late or early he goes for the latter, especially third time through. Given our bullpen that was a rough philosophy at times but he stuck with it and hoped to play the long game. It was a view that flew very close to the sun and if Stanton’s ball was 5 feet higher we would be talking about a lot today. But that’s the nature of trying to make hard decisions with a team sometimes seemingly keeping it together with duck tape.

He also gives players days off and sticks with it. In a season where home field in the WC game came down to a single head to head result that can make you crazy. But he doesn’t think like that. He sticks with his approach and again plays a long game.
 

Rovin Romine

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It certainly wasn’t my first thought, but I do admit then whenever I think “people really do hate Cora” or hear criticisms of him, you’re the first SOSH poster that comes to mind as sort of the embodiment of the arguments.
It's probably from the game threads; I do tend to let fly there. So in some measure that impression is my own doing.

If you read this thread, you may be surprised at how I view him. It really does not matter though.

Please don't ping me in this thread.
 

CR67dream

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Please don't ping me in this thread.
Come on man, he didn't "ping" you. he quoted your post and responded, as is perfectly acceptable on this message board. If you don't want that to happen, don't post.

I don't know where you posted it, but I remember distinctly that you once said "I know guys like Cora". Right there I stopped taking you seriously on the subject, because as far as I know, you don't "know" Cora and thus are not really qualified to make that kind of comparison.

It is totally fine to feel the way you do, and post about it, but the don't ping me shit is weak.
 

Rovin Romine

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Come on man, he didn't "ping" you. he quoted your post and responded, as is perfectly acceptable on this message board. If you don't want that to happen, don't post.
OK.

I said two weeks ago that I don't want to engage in further discussion on the merits of this thread. I explained that further today.

And, given that's its rude not to respond to people, I'd rather not people use any function of the board to engage me on this.

Is this a problem?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Not pinging.

Post 311, 319, 322, 328, 410, etc in this thread are all disparaging, among others. Plus all the Get rid of him for whoever is out there posts.

It is hard to say I Was Wrong, but sometimes it is appropriate
 

tims4wins

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Not pinging.

Post 311, 319, 322, 328, 410, etc in this thread are all disparaging, among others. Plus all the Get rid of him for whoever is out there posts.

It is hard to say I Was Wrong, but sometimes it is appropriate
Don't you remember, he already did that? In a completely sarcastic way.
 

JCizzle

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For what it’s worth, the back and forth with RR in this thread and the game threads is fun. He’s committed to the hate and I love it even though I disagree with most of what he says about Cora. In the second half of the year it was hard to argue with a lot of what RR was saying, and times like last night it worked out the other way.
 

mauf

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I’m generally pro-Cora, but last night’s game is a weird occasion to say “told you so” on that. We didn’t win the game because of brilliant tactics; we won because Eovaldi pitched well and three of our better hitters (X, Schwarber, Verdugo) came up big.

Now, if a pro-Bloom partisan wanted to take a victory lap on the Schwarber acquisition, I’d understand that.
 

SouthernBoSox

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I’m generally pro-Cora, but last night’s game is a weird occasion to say “told you so” on that. We didn’t win the game because of brilliant tactics; we won because Eovaldi pitched well and three of our better hitters (X, Schwarber, Verdugo) came up big.

Now, if a pro-Bloom partisan wanted to take a victory lap on the Schwarber acquisition, I’d understand that.
Schwarber, Robles, Whitlock, Renfroe, Kiké, Plawecki, Verdugo

The game was like a masterclass of affordable production.
 

Archer1979

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The telling thing about Cora to me is the respect he has from the team. He has the track record from 2018 and that seems to be fueling this run.

Take Eovaldi's post-game comments in which he said he didn't want to come out, but he's not going to second-guess Cora. Light years different than when Farrell tried to take out Lackey in 2013. Says a lot about the character of the pitcher as well as the regard he has for the manager.
 

BroodsSexton

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It all worked out last night. I still think it’s hard to grade a manager based on one night’s work.

I was definitely frustrated with Eovaldi coming out. But he definitely is committed to the process for better or worse. I think there’s a reasonable debate to be had as to whether the process should go out the door in the postseason. But then, as others have observed, it did leave Houck available to pitch last night.
 

BaseballJones

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As I said a couple of weeks back, I'm out of the thread. You can do whatever analysis of Cora you want without my input. Last night's game was exceptionally well-managed by Cora. If a single game changes anyone's opinion (pro or con) on Cora's overall managerial tendencies, and his strengths and weaknesses. . .well, that's what it is.

Please don't ping me in this thread.
I don't know that last night's game was *exceptionally* well-managed. I thought he made a bad call taking Eovaldi out when he did. Eovaldi had made a singular mistake, which wasn't even THAT bad a pitch - just above the knees that Rizzo went down to get.

44962

Definitely not a *good* pitch, but not a "hanging" curve at the belt. See how much Rizzo goes down to get it. So it was a below-average pitch, and a nice job by Rizzo.

Other than that, Eovaldi was spectacular and was at just 70 pitches. They pull him after this homer and then a nonsense IF dribbler single. Then Brasier gives up a shot that hit like 30 feet up the wall just left of the 379 foot mark. That would have landed like 425 feet away or something, and it's incredibly lucky for Boston that the Yankees didn't score there. It should have been runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out and big, big trouble for Boston.

He managed a good game, yes. I agreed with the decision to pinch hit Shaw for Plawecki. I liked his lineup to start the game. He didn't bring in any of the crap relievers, but only those guys who had been pitching well. All good.

But this one decision was, IMO, very wrong, though because it turned out well, was, I guess, the right one?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I think Cora was thinking about the "single" from the first inning and didn't want Stanton to have a chance at tying the game by seeing Eovaldi again. While I too would have preferred Eovaldi in there instead of Brasier I can at least see the logic.
 

OurF'ingCity

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If Judge does not stupidly run home on the Stanton wall ball, this thread would be reading very, very differently right now.

I think pulling Eovaldi when he was pulled is a defensible move - kind of a 60/40 “don’t do it” move in my mind but I can see Cora’s thought process at least.

Put another way I thought Cora’s overall performance last night ranges somewhere from “eh, got lucky, he could’ve totally fucked this game up” to “fine.” He didn’t do anything that should change anyone’s pre-existing opinions of him.

I think the larger question that’s becoming relevant as to Cora is whether the intangibles - the respect the team has for him, the atmosphere he creates in the clubhouse, etc - makes up for his weaknesses. That’s a really hard question to definitely answer but I think it’s more relevant than “well the Sox beat the Yankees so Cora is good.”
 

joe dokes

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I think Cora was thinking about the "single" from the first inning and didn't want Stanton to have a chance at tying the game by seeing Eovaldi again. While I too would have preferred Eovaldi in there instead of Brasier I can at least see the logic.
I am quite sure that was it. I can't say for sure, obviously, if he sticks with Eovaldi if Stanton is not the tying run, but there was no way he was letting the NY hottest hitter get a 3rd crack at Eovaldi as the tying run. That, to me, would be "hey lets keep pitching to Ortiz in 2013"-level bad. And in real time, I thought Brasier v. the RH Stanton was OK; I was more worried about the LH Gallo. WhaddoIknow?
 

joe dokes

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If Judge does not stupidly run home on the Stanton wall ball, this thread would be reading very, very differently right now.
From some quarters, yes. But you're also assuming that Brasier would have folded like a cheap suit with 1st and 3rd and 1 out.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I am quite sure that was it. I can't say for sure, obviously, if he sticks with Eovaldi if Stanton is not the tying run, but there was no way he was letting the NY hottest hitter get a 3rd crack at Eovaldi as the tying run. That, to me, would be "hey lets keep pitching to Ortiz in 2013"-level bad. And in real time, I thought Brasier v. the RH Stanton was OK; I was more worried about the LH Gallo. WhaddoIknow?
Yeah, I was okay with the hook on Eovaldi at that point. If that happened 2-3 years ago (pre the whole 3rd-time-thru-the-order revolution), I don't think we blink because do-or-die playoff games don't really have a margin for error and managers have always leaned toward the quick hook versus letting a potentially fatiguing pitcher work out of a jam.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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From some quarters, yes. But you're also assuming that Brasier would have folded like a cheap suit with 1st and 3rd and 1 out.
And that Stanton doesn't hit it a few feet higher against a few miles an hour faster from Nate!

Brasier kept Stanton in the park. Barely. That turned out to be a good result. Maybe the best managerial decision there was to pitch around him and keep Nate in the game.

Hard to say. The Stanton situation this month has been something. You can't be overly scared of one guy but man, it seemed as though every time a strike was thrown to him at Fenway he was 50/50 to park it.
 

chawson

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The Fenway factor was pretty real. Stanton would have hit 3 home runs last night if we had been playing almost anywhere else, and that Gallo warning track fly off Whitlock would have been out too.

Eovaldi was phenomenal regardless and I’m not sure it would have changed the final outcome, but it might have been a much different ballgame if we were in the Bronx.
 

tims4wins

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The Fenway factor was pretty real. Stanton would have hit 3 home runs last night if we had been playing almost anywhere else, and that Gallo warning track fly off Whitlock would have been out too.

Eovaldi was phenomenal regardless and I’m not sure it would have changed the final outcome, but it might have been a much different ballgame if we were in the Bronx.
This has been proven to be false. His first single would have been a HR in zero MLB parks. His actual HR would only have been a HR in Fenway. His second single would have been out of 11 parks.
 

bosockboy

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The Fenway factor was pretty real. Stanton would have hit 3 home runs last night if we had been playing almost anywhere else, and that Gallo warning track fly off Whitlock would have been out too.

Eovaldi was phenomenal regardless and I’m not sure it would have changed the final outcome, but it might have been a much different ballgame if we were in the Bronx.
His RF homer would have been a fly out almost anywhere else, and the first inning single too.

Fenway actually helped him.
 

GlucoDoc

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For baseball, perhaps more than any other of the major team sports (but at least as much), it is as much a head game as it is a strategy game from the perspective of the manager. Much of strategy is driven by metrics and intuition, and success/failure often is the result of the ability of players to actually execute...and luck. These issues have been discussed at length above. But one thing that comes through repeatedly with Cora is that the has "got" the team and they respond to him. He can calm the anxious. Channel aggression properly on the field. Help players during times of struggles and thus minimize frustration. All these other things that you cannot measure with metrics but, seemingly, Cora is very good at. I think that is the reason that many think he stands out as a manager. And the strategy part can, and will, be debated ad nauseum forever!
 

chawson

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This has been proven to be false. His first single would have been a HR in zero MLB parks. His actual HR would only have been a HR in Fenway. His second single would have been out of 11 parks.
Hm, missed that, thanks. Was that linked on this board somewhere? Long night.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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They looked like the Red Sox of the first half last night. They had an incredible approach on both sides of the ball, seemed focused, and were clearly all pulling for each other and feeding off the crowd.

The regular season can be a slog, especially this year. They hit a few valleys but were able to right the ship when needed, and Cora certainly gets credit for that and for having the team well prepared when it mattered most. They clearly stepped it up into another gear last night.

It’s a results based business, leaders make tough decisions that can seem puzzling at times, but if they have the confidence and buy in from those they need to perform - that’s what matters most. Hard to argue with that, the players love Cora and more than got the job done last night. They are motivated and working towards a common goal. Let’s keep it going!
 

scottyno

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Hm, missed that, thanks. Was that linked on this board somewhere? Long night.
Statcast data had the first single he pimped only going 345 feet, a routine fly out almost anywhere. It wasn't even hit particularly hard, we just assume anything Stanton hits to left is going to fly over the monster. The other 2 were crushed, though the home run would rarely be a home run, but almost always a hit.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/gamefeed?date=10/5/2021&gamePk=660938&chartType=pitch&legendType=pitchName&playerType=pitcher&inning=&count=&pitchHand=&batSide=&descFilter=&ptFilter=&resultFilter=&hf=exitVelocity#660938
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I think there were a few hits that could have been HR's in Yankee Stadium's RF hit by the Sox too, no?
Plawecki's I think maybe. I don't think Verdugo's had enough.

I'm skeptical about whether Stanton's single to left center really would have only been out at 11 or 12 ballparks. He crushed that thing and it was just starting to come down when it hit the wall. I guess the launch angle was a bit too shallow. But the statcast estimate of 400 feet seems a little short to me.

Edit: I think Gallo's ball in the 9th inning is out of Yankee Stadium though.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think there were a few hits that could have been HR's in Yankee Stadium's RF hit by the Sox too, no?
Plawecki's double. Probably Verdugo's double too.

On the other hand, the Yankees flew out a couple times to right (Gallo was one) and those would definitely have been gone in Yankee Stadium.

Ultimately the "would have been out in another stadium" stuff is futile because it discounts the influence the park has on what the pitcher is doing. Eovaldi knows he can give Gallo a pitch to pull in the air at Fenway because he knows there's a lot of space out in RF. He probably pitches him differently in the Bronx with the short porch.
 

TFisNEXT

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Plawecki's double. Probably Verdugo's double too.

On the other hand, the Yankees flew out a couple times to right (Gallo was one) and those would definitely have been gone in Yankee Stadium.

Ultimately the "would have been out in another stadium" stuff is futile because it discounts the influence the park has on what the pitcher is doing. Eovaldi knows he can give Gallo a pitch to pull in the air at Fenway because he knows there's a lot of space out in RF. He probably pitches him differently in the Bronx with the short porch.
Yep. Michael Kay’s “fallacy of the predetermined outcome” is even more true in this case....which is why it’s funny he was crying so much about it about it postgame. There’s no way Eovaldi (or most any other pitcher) is going to have the same approach in Yankee stadium as at Fenway.
 

absintheofmalaise

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Hm, missed that, thanks. Was that linked on this board somewhere? Long night.
I posted this in the game thread this morning. You'll have to do the overlays yourself.
The Toilet II followed by the spray charts from last night courtesy of Baseball Savant. I don't have the chops to do overlays, but it looks to me that a couple of balls that the Sox hit to RF, and one to CF, would have been HRs there.
View attachment 44953View attachment 44954View attachment 44955
 

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JimD

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A benefit of Nate only throwing 70 pitches last night is that he's almost certainly available to be one of Cora's 'rovers' in game 1 or perhaps game 2.
 

BroodsSexton

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A benefit of Nate only throwing 70 pitches last night is that he's almost certainly available to be one of Cora's 'rovers' in game 1 or perhaps game 2.
Is that true? I’d think there isn’t much difference between 70 and 90 in burning a pitcher.
 

teddywingman

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I don't expect to see Eovaldi (in relief) in either games to start the next series. He was pulled for analytical reasons beyond Cora. It's time we accept that pitchers are pulled or put in based on numbers that we don't see.

The game is always changing, but the last decade has been insane.