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Cora on Bradfo Sho: '04 Red Sox might not have won with these analytics

Rob Bradford
July 16, 2018 - 8:43 am

Appearing on the Bradfo Sho podcast Alex Cora raised an interesting notion: if this world of analytics existed in 2004, the Red Sox might not have won that World Series. (Click here to listen to the entire podcast.)

"Probably '04 doesn't win that one with all this information because they were just guys playing the game," Cora surmised.

The conversation was spawned after Cora was asked how he would rank this current Red Sox team -- the one that heads into the All-Star break 38 games over .500 -- compared to all the other clubs he has been a member of. And while the manager wasn't ready to define where this edition existed quite yet, he did put the 2017 Astros team he was a bench coach for ahead of any of the Sox teams he was a part of.

"It's a great question," said Cora when asked to rate the 2018 Red Sox. "I feel like last year that was as talented a team as I've ever been around, from top to bottom. ... That lineup, oof, that's a tough one."

Cora, of course, didn't play for the Red Sox in 2004, although he was a member of the World Series-winning 2007 team and a 2008 Sox club that Terry Francona identified as his most talented while in Boston.

The Sox manager did think that the '07 championship club was constructed differently enough from '04 that this current world of analytics would have actually made that roster even better.

"That team, we thought the game a little more," he said. "I wasn't part of '04, but Mikey (Lowell), Pedey (Dustin Pedroia), Youk (Kevin Youkilis). Youk would have benefitted from all this information. I think we were more disciplined."

As for this Red Sox team, Cora didn't totally bury his enthusiasm, commenting, "It's not an easy team (to go against). Like I've been saying, we have room to improve and that's the coolest thing about it."

The difficulty playing against these Red Sox wasn't lost on their most recent opponent, the Blue Jays, as their manager John Gibbons explained on the podcast, as well.

"I will say this, there's something different about them. It's a confidence or something," Gibbons said. "There's no doubt about it."