While many managerial job openings around the league, let’s not be too rash on Alex Cora just yet.
We all know 2019 never really clicked, let alone go according to plan. With the worry about trimming down the payroll, to the injury bug, to the near lack of resources to pull off a trade.
Also perhaps the biggest elephant in the room: The blatant neglect of the bullpen.
While we can attribute all of these causes as reasons why 2019 was such a disappointment, none of these are at the fault of manager Alex Cora. Everyone was amazed by how he helped tie the bow together in 2018, how it seemed he always made the right call. The perfect substitution at the right time, the right pinch hitter, the power and strength to help out his home nation in Puerto Rico. None of that changed.
So what if he didn’t have the same success ass his first year at the helm? You simply cannot take a 108 win season and hold a team let alone a manager to that high of a standard, it’s just unrealistic.
Changes are brewing already for the Boston Red Sox. With the firing of Dave Dombrowski and the more recent news that hitting coach Andy Barkett will not be returning next season already has the organization focused on the front office openings.
When asked about what the team needs to do in order to compete in 2020, the skipper said “The most important thing, actually, is we’ve got to get back to dominating at home,” Cora said. “For some reason, we weren’t good (at Fenway Park). You look at the teams around us — New York was 57-24, Tampa (now 48-33), we’re 37-41, that includes London, but still, we played below .500 at home. “For us to make it to the next level, we have to dominate there. It’s a different season, it’s something that over the course of this season we were never able to get on track. Even when you’re struggling, when you go home, you have to win series, and you’ve got to dominate at home, and we didn’t do that”
As a two year manager, Cora holds a 192-132 win-loss record (.593 winning percentage). He also is ranked 26th among active managers with only three ejections, which is 80 behind Ron Gardenhire. While we cannot say for sure what next year’s expectations should be, we do need to wait until spring training to decipher that. One thing for sure, the Red Sox have to let Alex Cora work his magic, and as long as the roster still looks competitive, they will be in the hunt for October glory once again in 2020.