Red Sox new coaching staff will follow the way of baseball

MIAMI, FL - MAY 16: Bench coach Alex Cora
MIAMI, FL - MAY 16: Bench coach Alex Cora /

The Boston Red Sox will have a new coaching staff in place as soon as Alex Cora takes over. Will this have a dramatic impact on the team? I doubt it.

When the Red Sox made manager John Farrell ex-manager Farrell the ripple started within the ranks that had attached to the Farrell star. That ripple was that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski gave the coaching staff permission to look elsewhere for employment.

At last count three coaches – Chili Davis, Carl Willis, and Brian Butterfield have now been hired elsewhere. What they are doing is simply filling slots that have either been created or slots from other coaches that have been fired. That is the way of baseball.

More from BoSox Injection

That Farrell lasted as long as he did came – at least to me – as a surprise, but just a mild surprise.  Dombrowski being the “new guy” would be expected to bring in his own staff to genuflect before him since that is the way of baseball and that usually starts with a manager.  Eventually the inevitable happened and Farrell was canned and will surface elsewhere. That is the way of baseball.

Baseball is a fairly closed society.  We look at managers and coaches as the senior citizens of baseball, but at one time they were young kids with a certain level of baseball and even social naïvety. You make connections of a lifetime and we read about it in the media – the bonds that go back decades such as the connection between Terry Francona and Farrell.

Alex Cora will have a tradition that is bestowed upon a new manager and that is selecting his own staff. Cora has a staff in place, but nothing official will surface and we will read about the connections of the new staff such as Cora’s as bench coach for A.J. Hinch, who is the manager of the Astros.  Will who Cora select have a profound impact on the Red Sox?

The most noted coaching position is pitching coach.  A sudden fall from grace can happen despite winning.  The Chicago Cubs staff was ranked fourth in the National League in pitching in 2016 and dropped to seventh in 2017.  A quick playoff exit and veteran pitching coach Chris Bosio was gone. Bosio was a holdover from the previous administration.

The new pitching coach for the Cubs is Jim Hickey who (surprise) spent nine years with Cubs manager Joe Maddon when Maddon managed Tampa. That is the way of baseball. Bosio – like Farrell – will say all the right things since the last item you want is a negative on your résumé after being given the gate.

More from Red Sox News

Just from my own observation experience is that most coaches impact is like for vice president Jack Garner’s comment on being VP. To Cactus Jack: “It’s not worth a bucket of warm spit.” But there certainly are some who rise above all others – especially in being a pitching coach. My two favorites from reading the mountain of positives are Mel Harder and Johnny Sain.

I do not expect any startling revelations from any coaching hires. We will all note the connection to Cora just like Cora’s connection to the Red Sox.  Maybe his choice of a bench coach – a manager in waiting – will be a former player of note such as Jason Varitek.

The manager has a comfort zone with coaches and they generally must be a known and not an unknown. The baseball philosophy of the manager will be filtered to the coaches.  Cora is baseball smart and survival depends on coaches who know what to do with their delegated role. Cora is supposed to be a “natural leader to guide their clubhouse” according to owner John Henry. Part of that equation is to have eyes and ears of the clubhouse which is also a function of the coaching staff. That is the way of baseball.

Next: Five Red Sox question marks for 2018

Cora’s staff will get the media response since the Red Sox 2017 is a fading and disappointing memory.  In a few years – hopefully longer – a coach or two and even Cora will be out of a job, but it will only be temporary since that is the way of baseball.