Home-field advantage only exists if you use it to your benefit.
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora lamented his team’s home record for the 2019 season Wednesday during an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM. The skipper cites Boston’s sub-.500 record at Fenway Park as a primary reason why the Red Sox failed to reach the playoffs and believes the team must restore its home dominance in order to compete for a World Series title in 2020.
“The most important thing, actually, is we’ve got to get back to dominating at home,” Cora said. “For some reason, we weren’t good (at Fenway Park). You look at the teams around us — New York was 57-24, Tampa (now 48-33), we’re 37-41, that includes London, but still we played below .500 at home.
“For us to make it to the next level, we have to dominate there. It’s a different season, it’s something that over the course of this season we were never able to get on track. Even when you’re struggling, when you go home, you have to win series, and you’ve got to dominate at home, and we didn’t do that.”
Even if the Red Sox sweep the Baltimore Orioles this weekend in their last homestand of the season, their 2019 record at Fenway Park will be below .500. One must go back to 2014 for the last time the Red Sox played sub-.500 baseball at home. They were 34-47 that year and finished last in the American League East with a 71-91 overall record.
The 2014 and 2019 seasons contrast starkly to Boston’s triumphant 2018 campaign, which included a 57-24 record at Friendly Fenway and ended with the World Series title, so Cora’s point definitely carries weight.