Thursday, October 12, 2017

What's so Great about Alex Cora?

Well, as we all know by now, the Red Sox went ahead and did it yesterday. For no particular reason, they fired the manager that just led them to two consecutive division titles. Since that moment, much of the discussion has centered on one thing.

Who's next?

A few names have been tossed around. Brad Ausmus used to work for Dombrowski in Detroit, and is a local boy. So, he's a choice. Ron Gardenhire was fired by the Twins, so he's a name. Jason Varitek is always mentioned. Gabe Kapler managed in the Red Sox organization, maybe him.

But, frankly, most of the choices have been met with a collective "meh". Now, that could be because there was no particular reason to fire Farrell. So, you can't say "I need a guy who works a bullpen better, and this guy is amazing at bullpen usage!" The Sox made a change just to make a change, and now really just need a warm body. 

Which makes my wonder why everyone seems to circle back to Alex Cora. I'm really not sure why. Now, that's no knock on Cora. He could very well do a fantastic job. But, what exactly are the qualifications that make him above everyone else? People mention that people always said he'd be a good manager. But, people said that about Jason Varitek too. (And, I imagine, they said that about Farrell.) He's been a bench coach in Houston for a couple seasons. So, I guess that gives him an edge over Varitek. People mention that he's young. Which I guess is his advantage over Ausmus and Gardenhire? But, that's the goal here? To hire a guy who has two years of coaching just because people said he'd be a good manager? Maybe he will be, but maybe not. Just not sure that's a reason for the hunt to start and end with him.

The guy I wondered about is Portland Sea Dogs manager Carlos Febles. I seem to remember him being a real up and coming manager prospect. He's young too. Younger than Cora even. He's even been a coach or manger in the Red Sox organization for 10 years. He started as a hitting coach, and then managed at four levels in the organization. In that time he managed players like Mookie Betts, Andrew Menintendi, and Rafael Devers. So, if you're looking for a guy who can manage the kids...I'd say you're looking at him. I'm guessing he's also well versed in the "Red Sox Way" of doing things. Using statistics, and the like. He seems to have an awful lot going for him. 

I'm not saying he'd clearly be a better choice than Cora. I don't know how either would handle being the manager in Boston. I'm just saying he has a pretty decent resume.

Which is why I wonder why everyone thinks Cora is such an obvious choice.

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