The Boston Red Sox shook the baseball world when they fired Dave Dombrowski Monday morning. Later in the day, Alex Cora spoke with media about the shakeup.
It was a bit of a shock late last night when the news broke that the Red Sox had fired their President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski. As today as progressed the organization made some headway with their reasoning, sort of. In a press conference, this afternoon Alex Cora sat alone in front of the media and gave his thoughts while fielding questions.
The more that I thought about it I wasn’t surprised that Dombrowski was relieved of his duties, but the matter in which it was executed and the timing is what caught me off guard. Dealin’ Dave still had a year left on his current contract and had already been denied an extension earlier in the year.
"“I was very surprised; this is the guy that gave me a shot to become a big league manager,” Cora said. “For four or five years, you go through this process and nobody gave you a shot. All of a sudden, Dave Dombrowski, 40 years in the big leagues, decides to give me a chance to run this organization as a manager."
But with only a few short weeks left in the season, why couldn’t this wait until the final out is recorded? Is getting a new body in Dombrowski’s still warm chair two weeks earlier going to give the Red Sox any better odds at signing new players? If anything the way in which the Fenway Sports Group went about his dismissal may keep potential targets away from Boston.
Dombrowski came in and did what he was asked to do, he built a juggernaut that delivered a World Series banner to Fenway Park. However, the way that he achieved his goal may have been his ultimate undoing. He spent loads of cash and gave away plenty of prospects from the farm system to build this team, but now that it’s not paying off, someone had to be held accountable.
When it comes down to it there are only two men that are truly on the hot seat for this abysmal season, Dombrowski and Cora. With Dombrowski now out of the picture the heat will only intensify on Cora as we head into the offseason. As the season went on we heard from members of the ownership group and it seemed as if they were ok with Dombrowski running the ship without any accountability until the losing began.
Now that the Red Sox are all-but eliminated from playoff contention the heads are going to begin to roll. I can’t imagine that Dombrowski will be the only casualty this winter but it would be a major hindrance for Boston to fully clean house. Replacing a GM is one thing but having to replace a front office member as well as a coaching staff would pose a difficult task.
With that said I found it incredibly odd that nobody from FSG spoke today beyond a small press release. Instead, they paraded Cora in front of the media to carry the weight of the shake-up on his own Something that he did with loads of class and professionalism, but it wasn’t his load to bare.
"“Unfair or fair, I don’t know,” Cora said. “The team already sent a statement. They actually wanted to make sure that we appreciate what he did, as an organization. I know for some people, it’s probably not enough. For others, maybe it is. I’m just here like every day to talk to you people for whatever you guys want to talk about it.”"
Things seem very uncertain in Beantown right now and it will only get rockier as the months go on. Free agency is right around the corner Mookie Betts and then there’s the possibility of J.D. Martinez opting-out of his contract this winter. Now that there seems to be some unrest with the front office and management staff I’m not confident in who will stay and go this offseason.
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For what it’s worth, Dombrowski did exactly what was asked of him by FSG. He went and got the talent needed in order to deliver them a world championship. It seems as if things soured when the handcuffs came out as he was trying to continue improving the roster. But in their defense, the amount of money on the field every night for the Red Sox is astronomical.
As far as Cora is concerned he’s still not safe despite what he’s achieved with this team. Though his sophomore season hasn’t been as hot as his freshman campaign, he’s still a talented manager. If anyone should be kept during a breakdown/rebuild it should be Cora. He has been an asset to this organization not only as a manager but also as a player. Unfortunately for him, neither he or Red Sox Nation get much say in the matter.
"“We haven’t talked about that,” Cora said. “I think we’re like in the first stages of whatever is going to happen in the upcoming months.”"
This has been a hell of a day for the Red Sox organization. Now they have to go into the offseason without a true GM and plenty of issues that need to be solved. Alex Cora stepped up huge today and id what was asked of him despite it not being his responsibility. He has shown nothing but class during his two stints with Boston and hopefully his tenure last beyond this season.