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

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
14,972
Miami (oh, Miami!)
It has to be this way. These are both smart & successful in basebal. I can't imagine Cora saying "I think we can do this better with 13 pitchers and an extra bench player," and Bloom saying "no." They ultimately might not agree on the personel move, because Bloom has multiple considerations. Cora might say, "Chaim, Workman's got nothing left, you can leave him on the tarmac," and Bloom might say, "I agree about his pitching, but I need to keep him in the org for a little while because [making this up, obviously] he might be useful as a throw-in to a couple of things I'm working on."
The dynamic is a bit black-box, but the responsibility falls on both of them to a degree. More though, I think on Bloom, unless Cora is not talking to him (which I think very very unlikely.) And I use "Cora" in his role as the head of the coaching staff entire.

I can see Cora having a mandate to play or develop a player as a regular - say Dalbec. And his numbers are there for everyone to see. But it's hard to fathom the shape of that. Is the staff insisting they're seeing progress? Is Bloom? Or is Bloom saying there's no way they can upgrade? (And what of the Santana/CA first base experiments, or Franchy in AAA?)

Either way, 1B has been an ongoing problem this year that hasn't been fixed.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
732
Chicago, IL
The dynamic is a bit black-box, but the responsibility falls on both of them to a degree. More though, I think on Bloom, unless Cora is not talking to him (which I think very very unlikely.) And I use "Cora" in his role as the head of the coaching staff entire.

I can see Cora having a mandate to play or develop a player as a regular - say Dalbec. And his numbers are there for everyone to see. But it's hard to fathom the shape of that. Is the staff insisting they're seeing progress? Is Bloom? Or is Bloom saying there's no way they can upgrade? (And what of the Santana/CA first base experiments, or Franchy in AAA?)

Either way, 1B has been an ongoing problem this year that hasn't been fixed.
Yes, that makes sense - the mandate to play a young player like Dalbec or Duran. If they still have options, and have the potential to a significant player, it's either play them or send them back to AAA to get their reps, yes ...

And agree that first base is a problem this year ....if they were in full and absolute GFIN mode, I suspect they would acquire both a pitcher and a first baseman. As it stands, they'll likely only acquire one (perhaps as it should be given the totality of things ...)
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,307
The bet with Dalbec was that he’d need only about 300-400 MLB PAs to figure it out, but now it seems like he’ll need about three times that. The Sox rarely have the patience for that kind of player if we’re contenders (which we suddenly are), but I think Dalbec remains a solid bet to figure it out by 2023. I wonder if Bloom is shopping him as a third baseman.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,982
It has to be this way. These are both smart & successful in basebal. I can't imagine Cora saying "I think we can do this better with 13 pitchers and an extra bench player," and Bloom saying "no." They ultimately might not agree on the personel move, because Bloom has multiple considerations. Cora might say, "Chaim, Workman's got nothing left, you can leave him on the tarmac," and Bloom might say, "I agree about his pitching, but I need to keep him in the org for a little while because [making this up, obviously] he might be useful as a throw-in to a couple of things I'm working on."
In Terry Francona's biography, there are quotes in there about how after the game Tito and Theo would discuss lineups, playing time decisions, callups, etc. Seemed like it was par for the course, just like I'm sure it is between Bloom and Cora (and, if not, there's likely changes afoot anyway).

The dynamic is a bit black-box, but the responsibility falls on both of them to a degree. More though, I think on Bloom, unless Cora is not talking to him (which I think very very unlikely.) And I use "Cora" in his role as the head of the coaching staff entire.

I can see Cora having a mandate to play or develop a player as a regular - say Dalbec. And his numbers are there for everyone to see. But it's hard to fathom the shape of that. Is the staff insisting they're seeing progress? Is Bloom? Or is Bloom saying there's no way they can upgrade? (And what of the Santana/CA first base experiments, or Franchy in AAA?)

Either way, 1B has been an ongoing problem this year that hasn't been fixed.
I don't think we can blame Cora for the lack of production at 1B. Sure, he and Bloom can decide if there is anyone worth calling up, but if the callup burns an option or otherwise has service time implications, Bloom will be the one making the call. Looking at the 40-man roster, there's just no real alternatives there, and adding a player to the 40-man will be Bloom's call, not Cora's.

It's unlikely that there will be a scrap heap pickup that can improve the situation, and the team will have a roster crunch on the 40-man next season, so again, any such pickup, or lack thereof, is almost entirely on Bloom. A trade could be made, but, again, Bloom will own 95% of any trade decisions (that is just how it works in baseball).
 

Sin Duda

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
157
(B)Austin Texas
Regarding in-game decision making, I've identified a sampling of independent variables (dependent = manager rank) to make a larger argument. Included might be: Observation of small things (umpire's strike zone, pitcher's stuff, positioning of opposing fielders, etc.), use of relievers, working batter/pitcher matchups, addressing weariness/engagement of his players, positioning his fielders, awareness of throwing arms (strength+accuracy)... There are many variables not accounted for here. With his baseball experience at many levels, his baseball acumen, his demeanor towards coaches and players, his understanding and implementation of advanced metrics, and his ease with the press (thereby reducing pressure on his players) I see Cora as one of the highest ranked MLB managers. I would expect him to be successful in a business environment as well.

I do not want to dismiss his role in the Houston trash can fiasco, but I consider his yearlong suspension, his besmirched reputation, and his concession to his failings as his penance. Only with his aforementioned managing ability, was he invited to return to the helm the Boston baseball club.
 

LoweTek

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 30, 2005
1,918
Central Florida
No offense to any individual poster here but I believe speculation about Cora and Bloom not being on the same page, not discussing, brainstorming, deciding roster moves together, etc. is way off. There is no doubt in my mind while Bloom may have the final say due to lux tax or other ownership pressures, Bloom is not going to do anything without a full discussion, consult and consideration of Cora's point of view, if not largely deferential to Cora's point of view.

Lack of a consensus between a GM/VP and the manager would reflect very poorly on the front office, the manager or both and I would think their working hand in hand is to be expected. Lack of same would suggest severe dysfunction of any team's baseball operations from the top right down to the field staff.

And RR, message heard loud and clear you do not think Cora's culpability for the Astros incident is forgivable. I'm not sure it's ever been reported exactly what his role was other than to speculate it was an active one based on his acceptance of the suspension and over the top contrition.

I know I couldn't care less about it at this point and I I'm far from alone. I think the Astros greatest sin is they were caught and MLB made an example of them. All teams do it to some lesser or greater level of sophistication (I use the word tongue in cheek with the Astros situation - the scheme was pretty dumb).

Cora is successful with the players. He gets results. He handles press. He loves Boston. This is his dream job. This is way more than can be said of a lot of managers and organizations in baseball. Things could and have been much worse.
 

nattysez

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
5,653
The best manager in baseball doesn't declare that upcoming games are "must-wins" and then sit on his hands while Matt Barnes gives them away. Either the game is a must win and you pull out all the stops to win it (meaning you get Barnes the hell out of the there after the first three batters he faced tonight), or you "keep the faith" in your guys. But don't tell me a game is a must-win and then give it away while trying to preserve Matt Barnes's psyche.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
32,011
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Cora spent the entirety of the 2019 season insisting everything was fine when it was in fact not fine.

He’s a fine manager when not facing any sort of adversity like 2018, and the players like himS I don’t think he’s firm enough with the players or his decisions when things go south. He needs to start benching guys. Certainly Barnes had no business being used in a tie game tonight.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
732
Chicago, IL
Cora spent the entirety of the 2019 season insisting everything was fine when it was in fact not fine.

He’s a fine manager when not facing any sort of adversity like 2018, and the players like himS I don’t think he’s firm enough with the players or his decisions when things go south. He needs to start benching guys. Certainly Barnes had no business being used in a tie game tonight.
I find Cora usually makes an adjustment to player usage that's necessary, but in my mind usually 2-3 weeks late ... BUT .. that might be part of creating a culture that makes players feel supported and respected, which may well influence overall player performance in indirect but real ways ...

But there comes a time ... my feeling/experience as a fan has been: we hit August, and long ropes are no longer long, adjustments that are needed are made, if it gets rough and a guy (like Perez) gets bumped or DFAd so be it - we're in the final stretch. The team does what it has to do with what it has, and players gotta put their egos aside.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
32,011
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I find Cora usually makes an adjustment to player usage that's necessary, but in my mind usually 2-3 weeks late ... BUT .. that might be part of creating a culture that makes players feel supported and respected, which may well influence overall player performance in indirect but real ways ...

But there comes a time ... my feeling/experience as a fan has been: we hit August, and long ropes are no longer long, adjustments that are needed are made, if it gets rough and a guy (like Perez) gets bumped or DFAd so be it - we're in the final stretch. The team does what it has to do with what it has, and players gotta put their egos aside.
I slept on it and thought about Cora's strengths and weaknesses as a manager:

- He is excellent when things are going well and only fine tuning needs to be done

This isn't snark. It's actually incredibly difficult for a manager to be a good manager when they have an excellent team. We've seen guys like Showalter and Girardi ultimately fail and lose jobs because despite having great teams, they insisted on treating every game like Game 7 of the World Series and ground their players down with their intensity, their inability to praise or ever be pleased, and their overuse of players to try to win every single game. There's a reason AZ won the WS with a sentient chair like Brenley immediately after firing Showalter. Cora isn't like that, he is very good at keeping his players loose, confident and prepared. And in 2018 when his team was kicking ass all year long, he was smart enough not to grind down on his players too much, so that when the playoffs came and he did have to grind down on them, they were rested and prepared to do anything for him.

- His playing experience has him well suited to relate to all of his players

Cora's career is one of being a utility player who was good enough to play a long time but not good enough to be a starter through most of it. In many ways it's much like Tito's playing career. Cora can well relate to the anxieties and insecurities of his players because he's been there too, lost his starting job to Pedroia in 2007 and saw the team get better because of it. This is an enormous strength and keeps, as Earl Weaver would say, the 12 guys who hate him away from the 12 guys who haven't made up their minds. Weaver BTW would never last in today's game, the environment is far too different.

- He is up on analytics and is fully on board with ownership and the front office. We've seen what happens when that is not the case. He is highly intelligent and dedicated.

On the other hand:

- He does not appear to be able to make changes to halt bad slides or slumps. That's one downside of relentless positivity, there's not enough urgency to bench players or to change roles when things go sour. As mentioned before he could not ever get the 2019 team untracked despite his insistence that improvement was always the next series away. He hasn't been able to stem the recent bleeding. He keeps using slumping players like Vazquez and Barnes even though they are costing him games. As discussed earlier the team keeps making mistakes on the basepaths and in pitch selection and that never gets corrected.

These are just off the top of my head. A manager's job is opaque for the most part, we only see what we're allowed to see. But this is just my assessment so far.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
14,972
Miami (oh, Miami!)
While disappointed in the outcome, I find myself completely unsurprised about Cora's choices and demeanor during the slump. He'll stick with players/strategies to a fault.

He's shown (IMO) a touch more urgency during the slide, sending Perez to the bullpen now that Sale is ready. But why Sale didn't make his last start for the ML club is a head-scratcher. It's OK to change plans and adapt.

The game last night is pretty much par for the course for him though. We've talked about "Playoff Tito." "Playoff (or must-win) Cora" is more like regular Tito. Vazquez is the primary catcher and Cora believes showing that is more important than winning games. Vaz went 0 for 4 with 3Ks and one one pitch pop-up. Vaz did a good job with Rodriguez, but called for a bunch of fastballs from Whitlock, which tied the game. Plawecki was in the lineup as the DH. . .so I'm not sure what the point was, or why he didn't give Vaz a day off? He was finally willing to put the (slumping) E.Hernandez at 2B, playing JD in LF. But this seemed more out of necessity for having Verdugo on the paternity leave list.

Again, it bears saying that there are a bunch of AAA/AA players who might hit ML pitching, but Cora/Bloom, even when their team desperately needs a bench bat, keeps bringing up Wong to ride the pine. It's pretty much inexplicable with guys like Santana and Hansel and Rios on the 40 man, and likely to squander a gift season.

If I had to guess, I think Cora's still running his 2019 playbook, and believes his personal-wishes will happen. I mean, if it turns out E.Hernandez had a hot month instead of mysteriously transforming into an elite center fielder* are we going to be surprised if Cora keeps starting him, no matter how horrendous his numbers are during a regression phase? I don't see how one could be.

*I think the truth lies in the middle, but the point stands.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Cora spent the entirety of the 2019 season insisting everything was fine when it was in fact not fine.

He’s a fine manager when not facing any sort of adversity like 2018, and the players like himS I don’t think he’s firm enough with the players or his decisions when things go south. He needs to start benching guys. Certainly Barnes had no business being used in a tie game tonight.
I think that this is the overriding issue with today's "players' managers." It's really hard to flip the switch when some discipline or hard love is necessary. While I don't necessarily agree with all the universal praise that Tito gets, I think that this may actually have been his greatest strength.
This team is playing poorly both physically and mentally. They either aren't responding to the manager, or the manager isn't employing a good strategy for leading them out of a prolonged period of shitty play. Managing through adversity--in any sport or field--is what really determines how good a leader is. Cora is still young. Maybe he'll learn from this, but I would have hoped that he would have first learned from 2019.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
14,931
Maine
Seems he may want to consider letting Barnes get right in some low leverage spots.
Or just some time off. When Chapman had his rough stretch a few weeks back, it seems all the Yankees did was avoid using him for a couple weeks. Doing it around the All Star Game probably helped in that regard.

That might be more productive and certainly less of a vote of no-confidence than demoting him to low leverage mop-up duty.
 

Humphrey

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2010
1,770
Unless Cora uses his starters longer (that's assuming they're pitching well) what are the alternatives.....Ottavino moves up to the 9th, or maybe Taylor if it's a bunch of lefties coming up? I hate to move Whitlock out of any role that calls for him to pitch two innings, because that would mean Perez or Richards (assuming he's out of the rotation now or soon) would by definition become the 2 inning guy (no other reliever on the staff can do it).
Would not want increased outings to go to the two new guys, they're arsonists so far.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
732
Chicago, IL
While disappointed in the outcome, I find myself completely unsurprised about Cora's choices and demeanor during the slump. He'll stick with players/strategies to a fault.

He's shown (IMO) a touch more urgency during the slide, sending Perez to the bullpen now that Sale is ready. But why Sale didn't make his last start for the ML club is a head-scratcher. It's OK to change plans and adapt.

The game last night is pretty much par for the course for him though. We've talked about "Playoff Tito." "Playoff (or must-win) Cora" is more like regular Tito. Vazquez is the primary catcher and Cora believes showing that is more important than winning games. Vaz went 0 for 4 with 3Ks and one one pitch pop-up. Vaz did a good job with Rodriguez, but called for a bunch of fastballs from Whitlock, which tied the game. Plawecki was in the lineup as the DH. . .so I'm not sure what the point was, or why he didn't give Vaz a day off? He was finally willing to put the (slumping) E.Hernandez at 2B, playing JD in LF. But this seemed more out of necessity for having Verdugo on the paternity leave list.

Again, it bears saying that there are a bunch of AAA/AA players who might hit ML pitching, but Cora/Bloom, even when their team desperately needs a bench bat, keeps bringing up Wong to ride the pine. It's pretty much inexplicable with guys like Santana and Hansel and Rios on the 40 man, and likely to squander a gift season.

If I had to guess, I think Cora's still running his 2019 playbook, and believes his personal-wishes will happen. I mean, if it turns out E.Hernandez had a hot month instead of mysteriously transforming into an elite center fielder* are we going to be surprised if Cora keeps starting him, no matter how horrendous his numbers are during a regression phase? I don't see how one could be.

*I think the truth lies in the middle, but the point stands.
I totally agree on Cora's inability to look at the reality of Vazquez's performance in the face. It's been evident for sometime now that Vazquez (a player I really like!) has not been performing well in any phase of the game (maybe his framing is still good, I don't know). In a post game interview, Whitlock said that Xander came up to him after his first inning and said, "hey, they're teeing up on first pitch fastballs, mix it up more." And Whitlock did just that, on X's advice, to better effect.

This, to me, is an indictment of Vazquez, and to an extent Cora/Bush. Why the hell does it come to Xander noticing and communicating this?

(as an aside, Xander is a super intelligent player and I think he could make a good manager eventually if he was so inclined) ...
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
32,011
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Cora had an awful day today. Pulled Houck after 58 pitches only to see the pen implode, yet another bad out on the base paths, 3 total runs scored in 2 games without anything being done to get the offense going. More bland quotes afterwards noting how bad things are without any actions to fix them.
 

Looch

lurker
Jul 15, 2021
60
Bland quotes are relevant factors in assessing a manager? Who was the last great manager who didn’t give bland quotes? Maybe you’re thinking of someone who could give more pointed quotes to the media criticizing his players like Bill Belichick?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
847
It feels like when Cora was brought back, there was a lot of rah rah stuff about 18, when a further examination of 19 needed to be done. That team never got things going, but also had a terrible collapse in late July to mid August too (after a similarly inactive trade deadline). And that team always acted like better days were right around the corner, and they never came. Was another team that got very little from its bench.

This teams approach on both sides of the ball often leaves a lot to be desired. It’s cool that they did well in the first half, but teams are generally remembered based on how they finish and if this team misses the playoffs, after where they were, I’m not sure how it can be seen as a successful year.

I mean, they are 6-11 since X declared the Sunday night game “must win”.
 

NYCSox

chris hansen of goats
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 19, 2004
9,255
Some fancy town in CT
I mean he can’t show any kind of panic. But at the same time his teams have never rebounded from serious adversity. I mean game 3 of the 2018 WS wasn’t that dire of a situation.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
32,011
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Bland quotes are relevant factors in assessing a manager? Who was the last great manager who didn’t give bland quotes? Maybe you’re thinking of someone who could give more pointed quotes to the media criticizing his players like Bill Belichick?
The point of the bland quotes assuring us everything is fine is that 1) it’s a blatant lie and 2) he did this same thing the entire 2019 season when things were in fact not fine.

He keeps throwing up his hands and says things are fine without actually fixing the problems. It’s McNamara-esque.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
21,331
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
Very little passion on this team right now, from the top down.

That said, his decision to pull Houck despite how well he was pitching today, and how well and deeply he pitched against the NYY a couple weeks ago was by far the worst decision of the day. Completely derailed the day.
 

Jason Bae

lurker
Jul 23, 2021
144
NJ
I'll just never understand not trying to ride your starters out in a 7 inning game. Don't you want to try to save your bullpen for Game 2 or the next day(s)?

The whole "avoiding a lineup the 3rd time thru" strategy is one thing, but then what's the point of trying to use him as a starter?
 
Last edited:

Looch

lurker
Jul 15, 2021
60
All these teams are extremely closely matched, but the Yankees have done an incredible job of surmounting their injuries and COVID issues, Overcoming that on top of the killer losses they have had is giving them a powerful mojo.

They are also deeper than their AL rivals other than Houston in term of healthy talent heading into the home stretch. The Sox have a good team but with bigger holes in the bullpen, first, and catcher than their rivals have. But they can still get lucky, even though they already have been very lucky to be this competitive.
 

jmanny24

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2003
465
Very little passion on this team right now, from the top down.

That said, his decision to pull Houck despite how well he was pitching today, and how well and deeply he pitched against the NYY a couple weeks ago was by far the worst decision of the day. Completely derailed the day.
This. I don't understand the quick hook for his starters that are throwing well more and more as the season has gone on.Too much by the numbers and not enough game feel?
 

amRadio

lurker
Feb 7, 2019
622
I saw a manager who came into the day 2-13 in his last 15 games, who was pressing and over managed the first game badly. They're not a great team, they're going to have to scrap to grab a playoff spot. Maybe Cora knows it and tried to do too much today.

Overall, my opinion is the same: pretty good manager who I trust to make good decisions on the whole but he's not perfect.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
8,156
This. I don't understand the quick hook for his starters that are throwing well more and more as the season has gone on.Too much by the numbers and not enough game feel?
I think back to all the posts over the last two months or so assuring us that help was on the way in the form of Sale and Houck. How much help can they be if they're not allowed to go more than four or five innings a game? Especially on a day when you know for certain that you're playing at least 14 innings of baseball?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
32,011
Deep inside Muppet Labs
There is an argument that he tends to struggle vs teams 3rd time through the order. Counterpoint to that is he absolutely DIDNT struggle with the Yankees 3rd time through last time he faced them.
If they think he can’t face the order the third time through then he shouldn’t be starting. Let him work out of the pen in that case.

Nothing this team does makes the slightest bit of sense.
 

jmanny24

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2003
465
I think back to all the posts over the last two months or so assuring us that help was on the way in the form of Sale and Houck. How much help can they be if they're not allowed to go more than four or five innings a game? Especially on a day when you know for certain that you're playing at least 14 innings of baseball?
What makes it even more infuriating is it's not as if the pen has been mowing them down of late. Another thing is yeah Houck has struggled 3rd time through in a SSS but he can't break through that barrier if he doesn't get the chance. It's like LHH hitters that struggle vs LHP, they can't improve there if they never face LHPs
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
732
Chicago, IL
Very little passion on this team right now, from the top down.

That said, his decision to pull Houck despite how well he was pitching today, and how well and deeply he pitched against the NYY a couple weeks ago was by far the worst decision of the day. Completely derailed the day.
Totally. Listen. Cora did the exact same thing in the first game of the doubleheader against Toronto, pulling an effective Pivetta, though on slightly more pitches (73 I think it was?). He is sucking at the teat of a single view analysis. Yes the stats are relevant (Houck - on a SSS - has not pitched well third time through the line up). But so is the situation:
- First game of three games in less than a day and a half. You've got to ration bullpen use. Steal some innings from starters where the opportunity presents itself, since you got at a minimum 23 innings between 1 PM today and 10 PM tomorrow.
- Houck pitching well, very few hard hit balls against him
- Bullpen has been bad lately, clearly tired and fried, or regressing to the mean.
- Houck has only pitched 4 innings and 58 pitches!!!!!
- The same move with Pivetta only a few days ago lead to taxing the pen ... it had a cascading effect on the games around it ...
There is one factor saying take him out (Houck's record third time through) and EVERY OTHER factor telling him to keep Houck in. This is horrendously bad managing IMO. It just utterly lacks insight into context. At minimum keep Houck in until or unless a guy gets on via a hard hit ball ...
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
21,331
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
If they think he can’t face the order the third time through then he shouldn’t be starting. Let him work out of the pen in that case.

Nothing this team does makes the slightest bit of sense.
Yeah...my take was a bit off though. He didnt actually make it through the 3rd time despite throwing a lot more pitches.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
8,284
It feels like when Cora was brought back, there was a lot of rah rah stuff about 18, when a further examination of 19 needed to be done. That team never got things going, but also had a terrible collapse in late July to mid August too (after a similarly inactive trade deadline). And that team always acted like better days were right around the corner, and they never came. Was another team that got very little from its bench.

This teams approach on both sides of the ball often leaves a lot to be desired. It’s cool that they did well in the first half, but teams are generally remembered based on how they finish and if this team misses the playoffs, after where they were, I’m not sure how it can be seen as a successful year.

I mean, they are 6-11 since X declared the Sunday night game “must win”.
They followed up the terrible collapse late july/early august in 2019 by playing almost .650 ball for a month before they finally faded and finished September poorly, the problem was they didn't gain much ground during that stretch because the wild card teams ended up winning 97 and 96 games and they weren't losing either.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
25,310
Cora (correctly) had to try to win 3-2 because the offense is extremely anticlutch right now.

Last time Houck faced the third time through the order, he was ripped apart.

Managers will always look worse with no margin for error... maybe he had some recentcy bias cloud his decision today... but it wasn't really a bad one.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
21,331
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
Cora (correctly) had to try to win 3-2 because the offense is extremely anticlutch right now.

Last time Houck faced the third time through the order, he was ripped apart.

Managers will always look worse with no margin for error... maybe he had some recentcy bias cloud his decision today... but it wasn't really a bad one.
Agree to disagree. Kid cant face 18 batters forever. Seems to me a game on a day you may well need the bullpen in a 2nd game, and he is pitching well, may be the time you need to have some faith in him, especially considering he gave up 0 runs on 87 pitches last time out against the NYY. And I was tweeting this the second he pulled him after 58 pitches. No revisionist history
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
25,310
Seems to me a game on a day you may well need the bullpen in a 2nd game, and he is pitching well, may be the time you need to have some faith in him,
It was clear to me they decided from way before the game he'd be done after roughly 18 batters. Eovaldi was expected to go 5+ and you wouldn't need the pen the next game.

Definitely very Rays-like and brings back memories of World Series game 6 last year, a move I hated then. Feels like a lose-lose situation for the manager really when your offense is dead
 

shawnrbu

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
31,695
The Land of Fist Pumps
An adjustment I would like Cora to make is use Perez as an Opener, then bring in Houck as your Bulk Guy. This allows Houck to face the bottom of the order first 3rd time through, which should allow you to get more outs from Houck instead of having to face 1-2-3 first when trying to go a 3rd time through the lineup.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
32,011
Deep inside Muppet Labs
It was clear to me they decided from way before the game he'd be done after roughly 18 batters. Eovaldi was expected to go 5+ and you wouldn't need the pen the next game.

Definitely very Rays-like and brings back memories of World Series game 6 last year, a move I hated then. Feels like a lose-lose situation for the manager really when your offense is dead
It’s like they keep forgetting the Rays haven’t won shit. Stop trying to emulate them.

If they really think Houck can’t face the lineup a third time then they shouldn’t be starting him. Use him out of the pen if that’s the case.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
732
Chicago, IL
An adjustment I would like Cora to make is use Perez as an Opener, then bring in Houck as your Bulk Guy. This allows Houck to face the bottom of the order first 3rd time through, which should allow you to get more outs from Houck instead of having to face 1-2-3 first when trying to go a 3rd time through the lineup.
If they're convinced about Houck's inability to go a third time through this is a good idea.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
32,011
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I hate to say this, because I really like Cora, but maybe the gargantuan talent of 2018 made him look better than he is. From what I can tell, he creates a good atmosphere for the players. He seems like a good people person, with a great temperament. He does play the long view game well - something that's important for the first 3-4 months of the season. Giving guys rest, rotating in bench, distributing innings.

But he maybe lacks in game strategic smarts. I do remember in the post season he made some doozy decisions ... but the team was so good it never really mattered. With this team, there is much less margin for error, and the mistakes are showing more. This of course would be the case for any manager with a great team rather than a good team .... but lordy ...he's fucked up this last chunk of games.

He should have learned from the Pivetta game!! Never mind 2019!
I’d honestly consider firing him. He can’t stop slumps and his teams never improve on the base paths and his in game decisions constantly backfire. Results matter, they’re the only thing that matter and his results stink.

It’s great that the players like him but he may not be the right guy for a team that is struggling.
 

NYCSox

chris hansen of goats
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 19, 2004
9,255
Some fancy town in CT
An adjustment I would like Cora to make is use Perez as an Opener, then bring in Houck as your Bulk Guy. This allows Houck to face the bottom of the order first 3rd time through, which should allow you to get more outs from Houck instead of having to face 1-2-3 first when trying to go a 3rd time through the lineup.
That's not a bad idea at all It would also make the lineup extra RH which would work to Houck's advantage.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
21,331
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
I’d honestly consider firing him. He can’t stop slumps and his teams never improve on the base paths and his in game decisions constantly backfire. Results matter, they’re the only thing that matter and his results stink.

It’s great that the players like him but he may not be the right guy for a team that is struggling.
I'm not going to go that far, but a lot of the shine has worn off for me, just as a lot of the Bloom is off the Chaim rose.

Cora is a good manager but he makes some godawful decisions sometimes.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
8,284
It’s like they keep forgetting the Rays haven’t won shit. Stop trying to emulate them.

If they really think Houck can’t face the lineup a third time then they shouldn’t be starting him. Use him out of the pen if that’s the case.
They won 96 games in 19, went 40-20 last year, and are probably going to win around 95 again this year, despite massive payroll disadvantages. The last 2 years they lost close series in the playoffs to 2 of the best teams of all time. Stop trying to emulate that is an interesting take.
 

patinorange

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 27, 2006
22,771
6 miles from Angel Stadium
I’d honestly consider firing him. He can’t stop slumps and his teams never improve on the base paths and his in game decisions constantly backfire. Results matter, they’re the only thing that matter and his results stink.

It’s great that the players like him but he may not be the right guy for a team that is struggling.
He started Shaw, Duran, and had JD in right field.
Bobby Dalbec was used as a pinch hitter.
Not sure you can put much of the blame on Cora.
I would consider firing the hitting coach however. Pathetic approach at the plate in both games and they don’t seem to be interested in taking what the pitchers are giving them. Also the big three of Martinez, Xander, and Raffi have sucked against non Baltimore pitching.