NEW YORK -- Let's just call it the team meeting that wasn't.
On Wednesday, the trade deadline passed without the Red Sox making a move. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski then very frankly acknowledged that he would've been more inclined to deal if the Red Sox were closer to first place.
Cora mentioned on Thursday he'd call a team meeting in New York to make sure everyone knew the stakes the rest of the season. Then he rethought the meeting after the Red Sox were swept by the Rays later that night.
On Friday in New York, he sounded flustered while describing his intentions, laughing nervously when asked if had changed his mind or was just kidding.
"All of the above," Cora said. "What I said two days ago is we might address where we're at after the trading deadline. Somebody asked me about the mood in the clubhouse and if they were down because we didn't add somebody that day. I said we might address it, we might not, I might talk to the guys about where we're at. They know where we're at. Then somebody asked me yesterday about the meeting and I said I might do it tomorrow, I might not. And now . . ."
On Thursday, Cora had said that calling such a meeting was "not common at all." On Friday, he clarified that what he had made sound like a formal meeting was actually nothing more than his normal day-to-day interactions.
"We always talk," he said. "The way I said it, yeah it sounded that way, but we always address stuff during the day. It can be in the food room, in the hitters' meeting, pitchers' meeting. We always try to find something positive we're doing, or if we're not doing something right, just address it. We do it on a daily basis. The way I said it was out of proportion.
"First of all, if we're going to have a team meeting, you guys are going to be the last people to know about it. And second, we communicate with the players on a daily basis. Different places. It can be at breakfast in the morning or lunch or in the clubhouse, the bus. That's the way I operate."
As for the over-arching issue -- did the lack of action at the trade deadline cause the team to play poorly on Wednesday and Thursday while Tampa was finishing a sweep? -- Cora shook his head.
"No. I just think we didn't execute pitches," he said. "Offensively we did a good job throughout the series against the Rays. If you look back, that first game we had bases loaded, two outs, with our best hitter at the plate. (Rafael Devers) hit a fly ball to left, we don't cash in. We had Christian [Vazquez] first and third, two outs, and hanging slider, and he missed it. If we put a good swing there and we score, probably the narrative would be different, like these guys are relentless and they don't care what happened on July 31 and now we go. But we didn't do it, so the narrative is going to be like, they're down and all that. But I don't think it's that."
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