Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora and his ball club are entering Major League Baseball’s offseason after surpassing all expectations in a campaign which concluded two wins short of the World Series.
And Cora seems confident that with the building blocks in place, courtesy chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, the organization has both the on-field pieces and off-field mentality — which together go a long way.
Cora, during an end-of-season press conference Monday, was asked what he hopes for the upcoming offseason. He couldn’t help but reflect on the mindset he saw immediately after Boston’s Game 6, season-ending loss as a way to prove his point.
“I think it’s very important to make sure the guys understand there’s still work to do,” Cora said. “One of the things that last night in Houston caught my attention, it was the ‘unfinished business’ attitude that was in the clubhouse. If you tell a lot of people, ‘You guys will play six games in the ALCS’ before the season started, I bet everybody would say ‘We’re in.’ And the way, it’s always disappointing, but it wasn’t like a missed opportunity. It was more about a ‘There’s more work to do.’
“They understood what this is all about, what you play for actually and that was kind of like very gratifying from our end, not only from the front office, but for the coaching staff,” Cora added.
As far as Cora’s offseason expectations go, everything the Red Sox manager said came back to one main theme: Improvement.
“So, the work already started,” Cora said. “We have a plan for each one of them, we’re going to be on top of it. One thing I learned going from ’18 to ’19, not every season is the same. And although this year was a solid one, a good one for us, there’s a few things we have to keep getting better at, or we have to change. And we’re not going to stop.
“We’re going to do everything possible to put these kids and these veterans in a position to be successful. Can’t wait to get to Fort Myers in February, you know, hungry for more. That’s something that starts on top with the ownership, the front office, the players and everybody that is involved in this operation.
“This is just the beginning, to be honest with you,” Cora continued. “It was a great learning experience. I learned a lot from everybody around me and I know they learn a lot from my end, and we learn a lot about players. It was a great, great season, but like I said, and I felt it right away — there’s unfinished business and we’re going to continue to get better and let’s see where it takes us.”
Some of the biggest offseason questions come in regards to the statuses of Kyle Schwarber and J.D. Martinez, along with soon-to-be free-agent pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. Those decisions, as noted by Bloom, haven’t been made.