Red Sox

Drellich: Why can't the Red Sox admit mistakes?

Drellich: Why can't the Red Sox admit mistakes?

NEW YORK — The trouble the Red Sox have publicly acknowledging reality this season is baffling, in part because their hooey is so pervasive.

Bad base running. Plane confrontations. Beanball wars. 

They don’t always say “It’s not me, it’s them,” but there are too many “It’s not me” moments.

Look, the Sox can pretend their mistakes aren’t mistakes all they want as long as they end up on top of the division at the end of the regular season. But in the meantime, the team wide posturing tied to most everything questionable makes it harder to take them at their word.

If they don’t own up to obvious truths consistently, why believe what they say otherwise?

Here's one: The Red Sox are making too many outs on the bases. They entered Friday with 14 more than any other team, per Baseball-Reference.com. They had the fourth-best extra-base taken percentage, at 44 percent — but that’s still five percentage points off the leader, Torey Lovullo's Diamondbacks.

Eduardo Nunez made a mistake in Friday’s stinging 5-4 loss to the Yankees. He shouldn’t have run on Aaron Hicks’ cannon while Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was on the ropes, making the second out of the ninth inning at third base. 

Why couldn’t anyone simply call it that: a mistake?

You can be aggressive, as the Red Sox are, and make a mistake. Many mistakes. Too many.

“We have talked with our guys routinely and prior to every series in our advance meetings we talk about opportunities to look for, to take advantage of the running speed that we do have,” manager John Farrell said. “But I do believe there’s a means to an end with this. And while the outs are going to be glaring, I still feel like when we can put pressure on the defense, we’re going to look to set that tone.”

And at a certain point, Farrell sounds tone deaf.

No one is decrying the benefits of aggressiveness as a general philosophy, or suggesting it hasn’t paid off at moments. But the Red Sox are about to blow past their number of outs made on the bases last season with 47 games to go. One more ties last year’s mark of 65.

You can make tremendous contributions since joining the team, as Nunez has, and slip up. No player’s been praised more, nor deserved more praise, than the Godsend for a lineup that needed a lift in a big way.

“If it happened tomorrow, I would take the chance tomorrow again,” Nunez said. “That’s how we play the game. That was a great throw, that was a great pick for Frazier, and an amazing tag. Have to give the credit to them.”

Does Nunez really believe that? Is someone going to tell him on Saturday that he should not make the same attempt again, if given a chance? Doesn’t sound like it.

“That [choice is] on the runner right there,” Farrell said. “He’s not going to have time to look and see if [third-base coach Brian Butterfield] is giving him the go-ahead, that’s something that’s prepared for, that’s something that’s discussed prior to, because in the moment, that’s a split-second decision.”

It’s not an easy decision for any runner. Farrell always errs on the side of protecting his people. But he’s going overboard. As his base runners have, as David Price did on that plane.

It’s OK for people to admit fault. The manager, the players, whoever. Accountability may be a two-way street, but the Red Sox don't know where it is.

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday. 

 

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

The Washington Nationals will ask to speak to Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora after the ALCS, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported, which could throw a wrench into the Red Sox' plans to name Cora their manager.

The Sox appeared close to naming Cora to replace John Farrell after the Astros season is finished, NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich reported earlier this week. Then the Nats decided to part ways with manager Dusty Baker after consecutive N.L. East titles but Division Series flameouts.

Cora, 41, as Cafardo points out, was once offered a player development job with the Nats, who were the last team he played for (2011) in his 14-plus years as a major league infielder, including 2005-08 with the Red Sox. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo obviously has a fondness for Cora, telling MLB.com in 2011:

"I think it comes natural to him to be a teacher. Alex still has a lot left in his tank as a player. But he has my number, and when he’s done playing, he can make a call. It will be well-received."

After interviewing Cora, ex-Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire, who took the Tigers job this week, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI.com that he was still "undecided" if he'll interview anyone else.