Why Alex Cora hasn't called any Red Sox team meetings

Rob Bradford
April 11, 2019 - 5:09 pm

The Red Sox went the entire 2018 season with a single team meeting, that was until after Game 3 of the World Series. That one, of course, ended with Nathan Eovaldi getting a standing ovation.

It was an approach that certainly wasn't the norm for a Major League Baseball team, a reality the players and coaches took great pride in.

So even though the Sox ventured into Thursday night carrying a 3-9 record, Cora and Co. aren't about to change course.

"Nah, nah, nah, nah," said Cora when asked if he had thought about holding any kind of team meetings. "We talk every day. we have our position players’ meeting on a daily basis to talk about the starter. You talk a little bit, but it’s not like the rah-rah, here we go, Lou Piniella-style. There’s no spread after the game. We’ll be fine, man. It’s 3-9.  We know where we’re at. We understand where we’re at. Don’t get me wrong. But stay the course and we’re going to be OK."

During his pregame meeting with the media prior to the series finale against the Blue Jays Cora did identify one on-field piece of the puzzle that could be improved by his team -- controlling the running game.

The Red Sox have allowed the second-most stolen bases in baseball (9), while only throwing out one runner. Toronto not only stole its first three bases of the season Tuesday, including a swipe of home, but managed a well-executed hit-and-run which led to a run for the visitors. Through 12 games in 2018 the Sox had only surrendered four stolen bases.

"I think the running game, that’s part of it. That’s something that the last two World Series teams did and took advantage," Cora said. "Just like football and the NBA, I guess. What do they call it? A copy-cat league? What they did the other day, you guys have been around the game for a long, long time. A hit and run with first and second and one out? You don’t see that often. And the same inning, steal the plate? You don’t see that often, but they did it. That’s something that we’ve been talking about, I’ve been watching the last two years and all the positioning and all that stuff and the way people attack the opposition, that’s part of the game. People talk about not stealing and not running because the numbers don’t agree with it, or analytics, or information. I don’t know. I think there were two successful teams last year in the American League that, they ran a lot, the Indians and ourselves. That’s part of the equation. It is. And we need to prepare for that. We’ve been preparing, but it’s something that … also, teams, when you have the lead, you can do a lot of things offensively. You can do. And we did it last year as an offense. When you get a lead, you start pushing the envelope and put pressure on the opposition and keep pushing and pushing and pushing. You play fast. Teams, when they get their lead and all that, they’re going to try to do that."