The BoSox Injection crew grades the 2018 season for each member of the Boston Red Sox, up next is manager Alex Cora.
Alex Cora made a big adjustment from bench coach with the Houston Astros to the manager of the Boston Red Sox.
Cora was such a difference-maker in the clubhouse from day one of spring training. He set his rules, connected with every single player, and made sure communication was key to having a successful season. He held nothing back and from spring training to the World Series, the Sox dominated all season thanks to him. From making adjustments during the games or before the games everything he did seem to work in his favor.
Cora’s goal was to win a World Series from the moment he was introduced as manager. From April to September, the Red Sox were blowing out the competition. Boston went 68-30 in the first half of the season and 40-24 in the second half. They were the first team to 100 wins but Cora made sure they didn’t get ahead of themselves. There was still work to do. They then went to Yankee Stadium and won the American League East again.
Cora made it clear that they needed to win in the playoffs for the season to be successful. The Sox won 108 games this season the most in franchise history a lot of the credit goes to Cora.
During the postseason, Cora made sure his team was focused. From the ALDS all the way to the World Series. In the ALDS, the Sox and Yankees would split the first two games at Fenway. Game 3 was in New York and that’s when Cora put in Brock Holt, who hit for the cycle in a 16-1 victory.
What Cora also did this postseason was put his starters in the bullpen for the late innings. He would put in Price, Sale, Eovaldi, and Rodriguez in the game as relievers, proving that Cora was using all his weapons to shut teams down.
Even with the bullpen struggles during the season, the playoffs were a different story. Cora made sure the guys he used in the bullpen were the ones that would help them win. From Joe Kelly to Ryan Brasier, they were great in the playoffs. Also, the way he would pinch hit for players too whether it was Mitch Moreland in the World Series or Eduardo Nunez, every in-game adjustment Cora made in the postseason worked.
Alex Cora deserves an A+ for the season he had. He turned a division winning team into a World Series winning team. They made some additions to the roster with Steve Pearce, Ian Kinsler, Nathan Eovaldi, and J.D. Martinez this year. In the end, it all worked out. They all got along and shared one goal a championship. Without Cora being their manager I’m not sure they would’ve won the World Series.
He also gets an A+ because of how they clinched the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series all on the road. Winning on the road isn’t an easy thing to do. But they went into Yankee Stadium and won that series. They won the ALCS in Houston and the World Series at Dodger Stadium. Great team with a great manager.
Looking Ahead to 2019
For the 2019 season, look for that same motivation Cora has on his players. Even though they won it all this season doesn’t mean that’s not the goal next season. He’ll still bring that passion, drive, and focus he brought throughout the entire 2018 season. The communication will be as great as it was in 2018 with his players and staff. There may be some changes to the roster but he’ll adjust and be just fine.
The whole team is young which is great. They are athletic, vibrant, and have the passion to win with the right manager. It’s no question Cora is the right manager for this team for the foreseeable future. Expect this team to be great for the 2019 season and beyond with Cora at the helm.