Alex Cora: 'We’re not paying attention to details'

Rob Bradford
April 04, 2019 - 8:13 pm

OAKLAND -- It was one of the more pointed postgame media sessions in Alex Cora's tenure as Red Sox manager.

Losing was one thing. How the Red Sox did it was what led to Cora's displeasure.

The second-year manager doesn't like what he's seeing, with the Red Sox' 7-3 loss serving as the latest eyesore. Simply put, little things are leading to big problems.

"The whole game it was an issue. I pay attention to details," Cora said. "I love paying attention to details and that’s something I took pride last year, and right now, we’re not paying attention to details. So, that’s on us. That’s on me. That’s on the staff. I know they have made mistakes, but at the same time, I think it gets to a point that we have to keep teaching the game and putting them in spots that they’re going to take advantage of certain situations. Honestly, you know, today I was watching and there were a few things that, we were great last year, and we’re not doing right now. It’s early enough that we can clean it up, but that’s on us. That’s on me. I’m the manager of the team, so it’s not that we’re going to be doing fundamentals every day and all that, but obviously, we’re going to talk a little more about the game. We’ve got to get it going. Regardless of the results – you win or lose – but stuff like that can’t happen, and that’s a reflection on us. I’m accountable, and I expect better things out of the group."

Two plays offered signature moments for what ails the Red Sox.

The first came in the A's three-run fourth inning when Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts let what should have been an inning-ending fly ball off the bat of Stephen Piscotty drop in between them, resulting in a two-run, ground-rule double.

"It’s on me. It’s a play that has go to be made," Bradley Jr. said. "I’m the leader out there. The play has to be made. It’s a catchable ball. I’ve got to take control."

The second came in the ninth inning with the Red Sox trailing by four runs. Betts took one last stab at testing the arm of Oakland center fielder Ramon Laureano, attempting to go from first to third with nobody out on Andrew Benintendi's bloop single.

It didn't work out.

"It's a bad decision," Cora said of Betts' baserunning. "And he knows it."

"We’ll talk to them and we’ll work on it," the Sox manager added. "You didn’t see that last year, but last year was last year. We didn't play well in Seattle, we didn’t play well here, now we go to Arizona. It’s a three-game series. We have to play better. That’s the bottom line. Like I said, I take pride in that stuff. Details. And details win ballgames. And for four games, they did a lot of good things out there. A lot of good things. They threw to the right bag. They played good defense. They ran the bases. They grind out at-bats. That was a reflection of who we were last year. I know we can get to that level, but we’ve to start getting at it."