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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Monday, January 13, 2020

Who’s In Charge?

I’m putting the cart before the horse a bit here but based on the suspensions and subsequent firings of Jonathan Lunhow and AJ Hinch in Houston it is looking likely that the Boston Red Sox are going to need someone to manage the team for a large chunk of 2020 and potentially beyond.  I’m just going to throw out a few points and I figure this is as good a place to speculate while we wait for the inevitable hammer to fall on Cora (as it should based on available evidence);

- I think firing Lunhow and Hinch, and by extension Cora being fired is a bit unreasonable.  This assumes that upper management knew nothing of what was going on and…yeah not buying it.  It’s like say if hypothetically the President of the United States had his campaign chairman, lead attorney, National Security Advisor and foreign policy advisor all arrested for breaking the law you’d probably assume the hypothetical President (let’s call him President Naranja) was crooked too.  Same thing here.  I’m not excusing Lunhow/Hinch but I think to believe Jim Crane is shocked, SHOCKED to find gambling in this establishment is nonsense.  With that in mind I don’t think the Sox should fire Cora based on what we know at this point.  Serve his suspension and move on.

- If the Sox are going to retain Cora I think it is reasonable to assume that Ron Roenicke would take the reins (say that three times fast) for the year-ish that Cora is chilling at home with the kids.  Roenicke had success in Milwaukee as a manager and seems to be a “good baseball man.”  I don’t love the idea of the 63 year old Roenicke being viewed as a long term solution but for a year or two I can see him filling the role the way Mike Port did as GM between Dan Duquette and Theo Epstein.

- Unless ownership has gotten a collective case of the stupids (editor: I doubt they have) they won’t make a “hey this would be fun” kind of hire like they did with Youknnowwho prior to 2012.  I expect that if they choose to move on from Cora the next step would be someone more in the Alex/Tito/Farrell mode.  Maybe not the most exciting guys but stable guys who succeed.  I have a theory that Boston sports does not do well with the bombastic coaches.  That doesn’t mean these guys aren’t good coaches but the successful ones in my lifetime (incomplete but representative list; KC Jones, Parcells, Belichick, Julien, Stevens, Rivers, Raymond Berry) have for the most part been fairly dour, straight-laced types.  By contrast the guys that are a bit more free-wheeling; Voldemort, Mike Keenan, Steve Kasper, Pete Carroll, Rick Pitino…these guys weren’t necessarily bad but they weren’t the right fit.

- One name I’ll throw out there as a wild card that I don’t expect is Bruce Bochy.  Tom Werner was part of the Padre organization that gave Bochy his first managerial job and if the Sox want a splashy name he’d be a good one.  Like I said, I would put the odds of the recently retired Bochy below 1% but hey, it’s fun to speculate.

- With all that said I think the Sox are more likely to look internally than externally for a long term hire.  If they are going to move on from Cora I suspect someone with a long link to the club might appeal to them.  Three names to watch;

Billy McMillon - The former outfielder has been a part of the organization for over a decade with managerial stints in Greeenville (Lo A), Salem (Hi A), Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA) which included managing players like Mookie Betts (you thought I wasn’t going to get him in this?).
Carlos Febles - Frankly I’d make Febles my early non-Roenicke favorite if it wasn’t for the fact that he was third base coach in 2018 which opens up the old “what did he know and when did he know it” line of questioning.  Not only have I never heard anything negative about Febles everything about him has been relentlessly positive.
Ruben Amaro Jr. - As I remember it Amaro’s reasoning for taking the 1B coaching gig was to ready himself to be a manager.  I don’t know if that is still a goal but my recollection is he was regarded well by the organization.

Anyway, like I said my goal here is to just kind of give a place to discuss the future managerial options on the assumption that Alex Cora is not likely to be one of those options.

Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 13, 2020 at 03:58 PM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5915334)
Just getting this out of the way: Although it's been reported that Cora was not disciplined as a result of this investigation, Manfred's official word is "I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the DOI completes its investigation of the allegations that the Red Sox engaged in impermissible electronic sign stealing in 2018 while Cora was the manager." Properly, Cora has not yet been disciplined for the Astros' stuff.
   2. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2020 at 05:36 PM (#5915342)
The tough part here is in understanding, before the investigation is complete, which of Boston's coaching staff were not part of any alleged sign-stealing with Boston. Absent that knowledge you have a pretty good list there.
   3. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 13, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5915354)
Mistake made: Going to twitter

Thing I learned: Jason Varitek is trending

No I will not look to see why but I can pretty strongly guess. The answer to the question is no, no they should not.
   4. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2020 at 10:06 PM (#5915446)
He is trending for the reason you suspect.
   5. Dock Ellis Posted: January 13, 2020 at 10:15 PM (#5915454)
Anyone read Alex Speier's Homegrown? Alex Cora is given a lot of credit for helping develop the younger players and building a good clubhouse culture as someone many of the core guys connected to. Doubt dropping Jason Varitek in the middle of all that mess that will result from Cora's firing on top of what probably be Mookie's farewell season is a good idea.
   6. Dock Ellis Posted: January 13, 2020 at 10:24 PM (#5915462)
Mookie, JD Martinez, Xander, Andy Nintendo, Devers, JBJ, and Brock Holt all love Alex Cora. This is going to sting.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 13, 2020 at 10:59 PM (#5915475)
Probably need to know what MLB finds before speculating on draft pick penalties, but based on what has been reported, that would seem to be in play, too.
   8. Darren Posted: January 13, 2020 at 11:11 PM (#5915480)
As you've guessed, Varitek will testify in the impeachment trial.
   9. Darren Posted: January 13, 2020 at 11:14 PM (#5915481)
I think firing Lunhow and Hinch, and by extension Cora being fired is a bit unreasonable. This assumes that upper management knew nothing of what was going on and…yeah not buying it.


I think it's more about how untenable an interim manager and GM would be. Better to make a clean break. With Cora facing a possibly longer suspension, I can't imagine him chilling with the kids while the Red Sox go with some 'good baseball man' type stand in. For all the talk of how important it is for them to COMPETE NOW!, they have to go with the best candidate they can find. Timing will be tough, of course.
   10. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 12:33 AM (#5915497)
This is probably not the best weekend to have Winter Weekend.
   11. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2020 at 10:00 AM (#5915537)
I think there is zero chance Cora returns. The Astros just set the precedent, and the report was in many ways far more harsh on Cora than on Luhnow and Hinch. Add in the additional Red Sox replay room scheme, and I think he's toast.

It honestly hadn't occurred to me until yesterday that this was even in play! Crazy days.
   12. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: January 14, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5915542)
Back up the Brinks truck on a two-year deal for Bruce Bochy and find an analytically-oriented bench coach next offseason to groom as manager-in-waiting in 2021.
   13. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5915557)
Who is Mookie's favorite coach to work with? Hire that guy!
   14. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 05:12 PM (#5915756)
Does this make it more likely that the Sox backup the truck to sign Mookie? I think it is looking like the Sox are going to need to do something to get some good publicity pretty soon.
   15. Dock Ellis Posted: January 14, 2020 at 05:22 PM (#5915758)
Or maybe Mookie will want to distance himself from the Red Sox as much as he can and move on.
   16. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5915774)
Yeah, that's definitely the flip side to this.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 14, 2020 at 06:40 PM (#5915782)
Or maybe Mookie will want to distance himself from the Red Sox as much as he can and move on.
Seems unlikely that the Red Sox went to all the trouble to steal signs but kept their best hitter in the dark. Is this like Captain Renault being shocked that there was gambling going on at Rick’s?
   18. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 07:34 PM (#5915793)
Alex Cora officially out as manager.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 14, 2020 at 07:45 PM (#5915798)
They are already paying Pedroia, and folks don’t seem to think he’ll be healthy enough to take the field much if at all, so why not make him work for his money?
   20. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: January 14, 2020 at 07:46 PM (#5915799)
Man, I always feel bad for people who lose their jobs...even if it's justified.
   21. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 08:03 PM (#5915806)
Yeah, it’s never fun. I’ve fired several people over the years, some were very good people, some were ########. None of them were easy.
   22. Morton's Fork Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:00 PM (#5915818)
The taint; that's what I hate about this. Memories of 2018 I can no longer purely enjoy. No WONDER they hit so well with RISP...

Manfred's doing what he gets paid for: 1) protecting the owners (no penalties for execs) 2) protecting the box office (no penalties for players) and 3) protecting the game (suspensions & loss of draft picks encourage future compliance). I'm afraid the Sox will lose draft picks, probably more that the Astros, and AC is going to take the biggest fall. Two years?

Will the Yankees have to fire Beltran?

How does Mookie Betts feel about all this, and does it change the Sox' calculus wrt CBT thresholds?

Hey, Chaim, you thought your new job was hard yesterday? How you feeling now?
   23. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:13 PM (#5915822)
To each his own, this doesn’t affect my feeling of 2018 at all.

So far the Mets haven’t said anything one way or the other regarding Beltran.
   24. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5915823)
23 was a bit more dickish than I meant it to be. Various PED questions didn’t bother me with respect to 2004 or 2007and I feel much the same about this that I felt about that. This is something that I think most if not all teams were doing (which does not mean I think it’s OK or that the punishments are unfair).
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 14, 2020 at 10:23 PM (#5915838)
Will the Yankees have to fire Beltran?
Beltran works for the Mets. The Yankees, along with the Dodgers, were the main victims here, losing in the playoffs in 2017 & 2018 to teams that cheated.
   26. Chip Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:36 AM (#5915857)
Beltran works for the Mets. The Yankees, along with the Dodgers, were the main victims here, losing in the playoffs in 2017 & 2018 to teams that cheated.


The Yankees, along with the Dodgers, head the preliminary list of at least 8 other teams besides the Astros and Red Sox accused of doing this.
   27. Meatwad Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:37 AM (#5915865)
Whobare the other 8 teams? Seen it mentioned but never listed.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:08 AM (#5915868)
The Yankees, along with the Dodgers, head the preliminary list of at least 8 other teams besides the Astros and Red Sox accused of doing this.
An ‘accusation’ requires an accuser, what you’re talking about is merely idle speculation to date.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: January 15, 2020 at 08:09 AM (#5915877)
Can we concoct some theory linking up Dombrowski's departure with Cora's troubles? Bonus points if we can involve LaRussa.
   30. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:07 AM (#5915885)
Can we concoct some theory linking up Dombrowski's departure with Cora's troubles? Bonus points if we can involve LaRussa.


Dombrowski knew about the Astros sign stealing scheme in 2017 so he hired Cora knowing Cora had a reputation in his playing days as a great sign stealer and was probably the mastermind. He made sure Cora had the resources to get the job done.

LaRussa obviously is bad news. He was in at ground level with the PED scandals and knows how to cover things up. Dombrowski brought him on board to help cover Cora’s tracks. Watch to see the Angels have big success this year.

The Yankees, along with the Dodgers, head the preliminary list of at least 8 other teams besides the Astros and Red Sox accused of doing this.


Yeah, if I were a fan of another team I’d be wary of throwing stones here. I suspect this is like the PED stuff where everyone is doing something one way or another.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5915888)
Dombrowski knew about the Astros sign stealing scheme in 2017 so he hired Cora knowing Cora had a reputation in his playing days as a great sign stealer and was probably the mastermind. He made sure Cora had the resources to get the job done.

LaRussa obviously is bad news. He was in at ground level with the PED scandals and knows how to cover things up. Dombrowski brought him on board to help cover Cora’s tracks. Watch to see the Angels have big success this year.
Pretty good, but it needs a juicy twist explaining why Dombrowski was fired.

Also you forgot some cardinal rules about weird Red Sox theories: If the guy is no longer with the organization he is good, and losing him was a mistake made with nefarious motives. And if the guy is still with the organization, he is either bad or soon to be shipped out.
   32. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:30 AM (#5915893)
An ‘accusation’ requires an accuser, what you’re talking about is merely idle speculation to date.

Ha! You might want to reread this.
   33. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:33 AM (#5915895)
Pretty good, but it needs a juicy twist explaining why Dombrowski was fired.

Also you forgot some cardinal rules about weird Red Sox theories: If the guy is no longer with the organization he is good, and losing him was a mistake made with nefarious motives. And if the guy is still with the organization, he is either bad or soon to be shipped out.

If you can't connect any of this to the original sinner, Young Theo, what are we even doing here?
   34. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:43 AM (#5915902)
And I forgot that Larry Lucchino leaked the negative stuff to the press like he did with Mo Vaughn, Fred Lynn, Reggie Smith, Boo Ferris and Herb Pennock.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5915911)
If you can't connect any of this to the original sinner, Young Theo, what are we even doing here?


You're right. I think I have the framework:

Theo wanted revenge for the firing of his protege Cherington. So he used his minions still in the building to sour ownership on Dombrowski and get him fired. Did I say minions? I actually meant .... ALEX CORA, whom the Red Sox acquired by trade in 2005. That trade of course was made by Theo. So Dombrowski is stewing, and has roped in LaRussa who holds a grudge after being ousted from the Diamondbacks where he was replaced by Mike Hazen, yet another Theo protege. Dave Stewart was also pushed out of the Diamondbacks at the same time. So after Dombrowski was fired, he and LaRussa cook up a plan to get revenge on Cora. Larussa talks to his buddy Dave Stewart, who came up as a player in the minor leagues and with the Dodgers alongside .... Red Sox bench coach Ron Roenicke. So Stewart and LaRussa lean on him, and point out that he would be in line for the manager position if Cora were somehow taken out of the picture. Roenicke was formerly the manager of the Brewers from 2011-2015, a span that exactly overlaps with the Brewers career of a pitcher named .... wait for it .... MIKE FIERS. fin
   36. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:19 AM (#5915926)
Holy crap, Nate has sussed it out. That's good.

Of course now Nate willl have go into hiding. That's bad.
   37. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5915948)
Pedroia would be a popular pick. Might be disastrous, but it would be popular, initially.
   38. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 11:14 AM (#5915965)
An ‘accusation’ requires an accuser, what you’re talking about is merely idle speculation to date.

Oh, might want to reread this one, too, Clapper.
   39. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5916143)
I’ve fired several people over the years, some were very good people


Who died and made you Donald Trump?
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5916168)
An ‘accusation’ requires an accuser, what you’re talking about is merely idle speculation to date.
Ha! You might want to reread this.
Oh, might want to reread this one, too, Clapper.
I think you’re proving my point. The Athletic article is behind a paywall, but appears to be about the Red Sox Apple Watch shenanigans. IIRC, there were some lesser issues about the Yankees use of a YES camera at the time. Both teams’ issues were resolved with some fines, and MLB issued a memo saying future violations would be dealt with more severely. So far, we don’t have any evidence that the memo wasn’t sufficient to deter everyone but the Astros & Red Sox. The now-deleted Logan Morrison tweet is nothing more than generalized hearsay that doesn’t even distinguish between permissible video scouting and prohibited in-game video sign stealing, or indicate anything happened after the 2017 memo. The “every team was doing it” crowd has yet to come up with anything more than speculative lists, apparently based on which teams the list-makers dislike.
   41. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5916177)
(The Logan Morrison tweet isn't deleted, it's a screenshot of an instagram post.)

Anyway, definitely maintain that confidence, Clapper, it's certainly not going to backfire in the least.
   42. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5916183)
Who died and made you Donald Trump?


Hold on hold on....damn.
   43. TJ Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:41 PM (#5916194)
The “every team was doing it” crowd has yet to come up with anything more than speculative lists, apparently based on which teams the list-makers dislike.


Based on the sheer awfulness of their offense the past couple of years, I think I can say with assurance that my beloved Detroit Tigers are not cheating...

Or, if they are, then either A) they're not very good at it, or B) their hitters suck even worse than they appear to, as impossible as that may seem.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:48 PM (#5916197)
Anyway, definitely maintain that confidence, Clapper, it's certainly not going to backfire in the least
To be clear, I’ve made no prediction on what may happen in the future, but have merely noted that those pointing fingers at the Yankees, Dodgers, or other teams, such as yourself, have done so with no supporting evidence. Oh, wait … I forgot that hearsay & conjecture are ‘kind of evidence’.
   45. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5916199)
To be clear, I’ve made no prediction on what may happen in the future

Would you say it's more or less likely than Jeter trading Stanton?

but have merely noted that those pointing fingers at the Yankees, Dodgers, or other teams, such as yourself, have done so with no supporting evidence.

No, what you actually said was "an 'accusation' requires an accuser" and then I linked you to one!
   46. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5916205)
No, what you actually said was "an 'accusation' requires an accuser" and then I linked you to one!
No, you linked to a ‘list-maker’ who provided no evidence that any of the teams he listed had actually engaged in improper conduct, or that it occurred after the 2017 MLB Memo.
   47. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5916210)
Oh buddy, I give up.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: January 15, 2020 at 04:11 PM (#5916216)
Oh buddy, I give up.
It's not an accusation if it's in list form, duh!
   49. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5916224)
Just reading recaps of the Red Sox press conference today. Isn't this... transparently BS?
Jason Mastrodonato @JMastrodonato
Kennedy: "It’s also important to recognize that this collective mutual decision was related exclusively to the incidents that took place in Houston. The organization was well aware of the rules and communicated them to the uniformed personnel and front office staff."
   50. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 05:05 PM (#5916233)
It's not an accusation if it's in list form, duh!
When the Braves were caught making improper international bonus payments, the Cardinals caught hacking the Astros, and now the Astros & Red Sox caught using in-game video to steal signs, some of their fanboys said, without any evidence, that “everybody does it”. Not a good look.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: January 15, 2020 at 05:18 PM (#5916237)
OK. What about fanboys who said, without any evidence, that "no one else was accused," is that a good look? My good-look detector might be a little wonky...
   52. jmurph Posted: January 15, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5916269)
some of their fanboys said

Ha! Logan Morrison, famously a Red Sox fanboy.
   53. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 15, 2020 at 07:29 PM (#5916280)
Just reading recaps of the Red Sox press conference today. Isn't this... transparently BS?


No? I don't think? It might be but I would hope Kennedy wouldn't make that statement if he knew the hammer was coming down on the Sox also. One thing I saw mentioned by one of the beat guys is that the Sox FO during the press conference was giving a vibe that whatever was going on was not as bad as the Astros. Henry et al are not exactly the best actors in the world so that might just be inadvertent but it's possible that they weren't doing anything and the investigation is a function of them hiring a guy who just got outed as being the ringleader elsewhere. Kinda like if you signed Gaylord Perry people were going to assume you had someone on your staff throwing the spitball. I dunno, for now I'm waiting.

Yankee Clapper - I seriously don't know what you are arguing here. I know your M.O. is to show up in Sox Therapy threads when things aren't going great for the Sox and hey fair enough, that's a fan thing to do. But I'm genuinely not sure what you are arguing. If you are looking for people here to say "poor victimized Yankees who are pure and innocent" I mean, you probably are in the wrong place. Maybe you are right and the Sox and Astros just happened to be the only two teams in baseball doing anything wrong. This seems like a good place to note the Sox are just being investigated but have not been found guilty of anything. Or put another way the Sox have been found guilty of the same amount of things as the Yankees who hired the other Astro ringleader last year and had guys like Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman turn into superstars. But keep doing whatever it is you are doing because I really don't know what your complaint is.

I mean hey, if the Sox were involved they deserve to get punished. No argument here. If your complaint is just that it is ridiculous to even consider the idea that this is more widespread than just two teams well I'll just say I find that naive and I think just about every team in baseball is doing something much like what we saw with PEDs.
   54. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 11:18 PM (#5916342)
Yankee Clapper - I seriously don't know what you are arguing here.
Well, if you read the thread you’ll see that I merely replied to some misguided soul who asked if the Yankees would have to fire Beltrán, pointing out that Beltrán now worked for the Mets and that the Yankees along with the Dodgers were the main victims of the sign-stealing since they both lost to cheating teams in the playoffs in consecutive years. For some reason this caused some here to suggest that the Yankees had engaged in similar conduct, despite an absence of any actual evidence of that to date, causing me to me to note that there wasn’t any evidence to date supporting their wishcasting.
This seems like a good place to note the Sox are just being investigated but have not been found guilty of anything.
MLB hasn't completed its investigation, so no findings have been made, but aren’t the reports that the Red Sox used in-game video to tell players what to look for when they reached 2nd base coming from Sox sources attempting to mitigate the team’s misconduct? Perhaps that reporting is wrong, and I’ll be happy to await the complete investigation and revise my conclusions if necessary. However, it would seem strange for anyone insisting that everyone continued to use in-game video after the MLB Memo, or that just the teams they dislike continued to use in-game video improperly, to worry about anyone else not jumping to conclusions, given how far out on a limb they have gone without any actual evidence.
   55. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2020 at 09:30 AM (#5916390)
I'm fine with the opposing team fan trollery, as there is plenty to make fun of YC for (Jeter! Stanton!) so it's all good. But I find the constantly shifting, SBB-esque argument thing to be pretty close to block-able. You're an adult for crying out loud. Don't, as a general principle in life, behave like SBB.
   56. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2020 at 09:34 AM (#5916393)
No? I don't think? It might be but I would hope Kennedy wouldn't make that statement if he knew the hammer was coming down on the Sox also. One thing I saw mentioned by one of the beat guys is that the Sox FO during the press conference was giving a vibe that whatever was going on was not as bad as the Astros.

I mean to be clear, the public accusations pretty obviously don't rise to the level of the Astros thing, so I don't mean that. I just really don't think they'd be firing him if they weren't also under investigation for something? It's easy to let Beltran, for example, go, he hasn't even really started the job yet. But firing a guy two years after he's been with your team, exclusively for something he did with a previous team, is a little odd.

EDIT: It would be very easy to make noise about how he turned the page, has been nothing but an exemplary employee with our team, etc., we'll welcome him back after his suspension.
   57. villageidiom Posted: January 16, 2020 at 10:18 AM (#5916425)
But firing a guy two years after he's been with your team, exclusively for something he did with a previous team, is a little odd.
I mean, the thing he did with a previous team was determined to be something he did in concert with the players on his team. If Cora is still managing the Red Sox, then every player who reaches base safely in a game will be asked what pitch they hit and how they knew it was coming, in every game. If he's not managing them, then they'll get some questions at the start of spring training and then that'll be mostly it (other than the standard "want to get your reaction to the findings from the MLB investigation" which are unavoidable but also won't be a season-long saga). This has the potential to be a season-long distraction if Cora is still managing - and that's even before the results of the investigation into the Red Sox.

I have greater confidence than most that distractions like that can be managed. But I don't run the Red Sox, nor am I the manager. If they feel "mutually" that that's asking too much, then it's better to cut ties now.
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: January 16, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5916428)
The huge suspension he's facing also was a big factor, right?
   59. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5916448)
These are all fair points, I just don't think they would have fired him if he wasn't also accused of nefarious things in his time with the Red Sox. But I could obviously be wrong.
   60. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 16, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5916455)
I think 57&58; are on it. It creates an incredible distraction. Look at the 1989 Reds who played the season with a sword of Damocles over their heads. From 1986-1990 with a basically similar core they had good to great seasons with 1989 being a disaster which I have to believe was caused in part by Rose's investigation.
   61. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 16, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5916467)
Whenever Clapper uses the word "merely" (and he uses it a lot), I envision him batting his eyelashes. "Who? Me???"

   62. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 16, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5916544)
It's easy to let Beltran, for example, go, he hasn't even really started the job yet.
Beltrán’s situation is more complex. If the Mets fire Beltrán, they almost certainly will have to pay the 3 years on his contract. Unless that contract was worded rather strangely, Beltrán’s actions while playing for the Astros wouldn’t put him in breach of his subsequent Mets contract. Luhnow, Hinch & Cora (for whatever he did with the Red Sox) could all have breached their contracts if they took unauthorized actions and concealed them from management. I don’t believe there has been any announcement on how the Astros will handle that, and certainly not the Red Sox, but I assume it will eventually leak out. Managers salaries are not that much money, so it shouldn’t matter that much, but ownership may have its own axes to grind, or skeletons to hide, and the Mets sometimes have a funny way of making money decisions.

EDIT: Maybe not that hard a decision, since it’s now being reported that Beltrán is out. Will still be curious how the money issue are addressed for the various wrongdoers.
   63. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5916551)
Well Beltran is officially out now, so we shall see!
   64. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 16, 2020 at 06:04 PM (#5916728)
I have no doubt the teams will try not to pay these guys but that seems like a really risky thing to attempt. Just take Hinch for example. The Astros don't pay him, he sues saying he was doing what the Astros told him to do. Everything goes to court and under oath a bunch of senior execs up to an including Crane have to testify if they knew about it or not.

It's a different but similar version to the way MLB makes sure that whatever happens the league and individual clubs' accounting records are never made public. Is it worth the $1.2 million to the Astros not to have to go through that? I suspect it is.
   65. Dock Ellis Posted: January 16, 2020 at 06:53 PM (#5916743)
Add Michael Chavis to the list of players I mentioned in #6. Chavis was only around Alex for so long, but it left quite the impression.

“I thanked him for everything he did for me and caring for me so much man-to-man, as a person," Chavis said. “I like how he approached things as treating me more than just a player. And from my initial interactions with him, he cared about me as a person, which meant a lot to me.”


I wonder if we are underestimating how loved Alex Cora was in the clubhouse, and if there will be lingering effects like the post-Pete Rose Reds Jose mentioned.
   66. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 16, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5916750)
Year one post Pete the Reds went wire to wire so that would be OK.

I don’t think we are underestimating it so much as we are just not discussing it yet. I think it’s fair to say he was incredibly well liked. This is why I think the more continuity they can maintain the better. McMillon, Febles, Roenicke, one from that group. Gerdman has also gotten a lot of good press for his work with the kids coming through the system. I really believe Febles would be the best option but the investigation has to be complete before he gets elevated given his presence on the MLB staff for the last two seasons.
   67. Dock Ellis Posted: January 16, 2020 at 07:10 PM (#5916752)
Agreed 100% on the continuity. I think Cora's well-likedness and the dramatics of this situation means it would be better to promote someone like Febles rather than go with an outside hire the players dont already know.
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: January 16, 2020 at 07:35 PM (#5916763)
Gerdman has also gotten a lot of good press for his work with the kids coming through the system.
Yeah but are we going to forgive him for not holding on to that fateful pitch from Bob Starnley?
   69. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 16, 2020 at 07:39 PM (#5916765)
I really believe Febles would be the best option but the investigation has to be complete before he gets elevated given his presence on the MLB staff for the last two seasons.
Anyone on the 2018 staff will have to answer the “What did you know, and when did you know it” questions, and explain their actions or lack thereof. That’s a bit sticky, and the Red Sox may want to avoid that. Presumably, ownership should already know what MLB will find, so the Manager decision could also signal something about the investigation. Not sure about the time table for the Red Sox, but the Astros investigation took about 2 months. Might be quicker for Boston since MLB was already geared up, but a decision on discipline could come down right in the middle of spring training.
   70. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 16, 2020 at 07:43 PM (#5916767)
Yeah but are we going to forgive him for not holding on to that fateful pitch from Bob Starnley?


My mother’s favorite player when I was a kid was Carlton Fisk (for reasons I prefer not to think about re: my mother). Anyway, she always blamed Gedman and insisted that Fisk would have been able to keep things calm and the Sox would have won.

Anyhoot, before retiring she worked for 12 years as a social worker at the local senior citizen center. One thing they would do is work with the Sox to bring in a former player to talk to the men’s group they had (women were allowed don’t yell at me). Gedman was one of the speakers they had and she called me afterward and said “this sucks, now I can’t hate him anymore because he was such a nice guy.”
   71. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 16, 2020 at 07:46 PM (#5916768)
69 - Yeah, that’s a significant issue for Febles and Roenicke. Like I said in the piece at the top if not for that concern I think Febles would be the clear front runner here.
   72. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 17, 2020 at 08:10 PM (#5917079)
LaRussa obviously is bad news. He was in at ground level with the PED scandals and knows how to cover things up. Dombrowski brought him on board to help cover Cora’s tracks. Watch to see the Angels have big success this year.


Heh.
   73. Darren Posted: January 20, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5917514)
According to MLBTR, Red Sox may go into spring training without a manager. Yikes.
   74. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5917521)
I mentioned this elsewhere but I don’t think that’s quite the “oh my god” it is being portrayed as. It’s not ideal but this ownership group has done this before. In 2002 the purchase of the club was completed late in February and they fired Joe Kerrigan at that point. They elevated Mike Cubbage to manager on March 5 (yes I looked the dates up) and then eventually hired Grady Little on March 12. As karlmagnus will remind us they had a 100 win Pythagorean record season that year.

My guess is that they are approaching spring with Roenicke as the boss and want to promote him but they don’t want to make that move until the investigation is complete in case Roenicke was involved in something.
   75. Darren Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5917526)
Saw that just now, I had forgotten all about that. Crazy.

Good guess on the internal candidates.
   76. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:47 AM (#5917533)
The Cubbage thing has always fascinated me. He was this little footnote in a weird time. I remember opening day 2001 that was when they had “Tessie” run around and sweep the bases during the grounds crew doing their thing and she got to third base and Cubbage was weaving back and forth so “Tessie” ran over and swept his feet thinking he was just goofing around but in reality he was having a diabetic event of some kind and was on the verge of passing out.

But the great/weird thing about Cubbage is I don’t know what happened to him after he left. He just seemed to vanish.
   77. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5917601)
Cubbage was just elected into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame! David Wright was too. Cubbage also just got a World Series ring for his work as a special assistant to Mike Rizzo. Good for him.

That 2003 team also entered the season without a pitching coach, thanks to Tony Cloninger's cancer diagnosis towards the end of Spring Training. that year. BBRef lists the team as having four different pitching coaches, and no one in the position for the first week or so of the season.
   78. Dock Ellis Posted: January 23, 2020 at 08:43 PM (#5918862)
   79. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 23, 2020 at 08:55 PM (#5918867)
Yeah I’ll withhold losing my #### until something seems imminent. I’m sure they’ve discussed it but that doesn’t mean it is likely.
   80. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 23, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5918882)
Apparently Wil Myers is the prize that could snag Mookie, along with some non-top 5 Padres prospects. Haggling about how much of Myers salary the Red Sox will take on seems to the possibly significant hang-up.
   81. Darren Posted: January 25, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5919236)
The rumored deal sounds bad, but I'm confident they will make a good deal.

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