New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu joined WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Wednesday and had some interesting thoughts on the state of the Boston Red Sox, including the reasons for the team's struggles this season.
"I think it starts at the top. I think (Alex) Cora's got to go. I do," Sununu said. "I personally just don't like the way he's using pitchers. There's no motivation on that team. There's a morale problem on that team. If you have a morale problem, you've got to start at the top. You just do."
The debate surrounding underperforming teams is always who to blame: Is it the players, the coach, the front office or the owners? Chief baseball officer for the Red Sox Chaim Bloom has taken plenty of heat from players and others for how he handled Tuesday's MLB trade deadline.
Most players on the Red Sox seem to love Cora, a manager who has close relationships with many of the players and their families. Last season, Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi said that Cora's "calm, cool and collected" persona helps players in stressful situations. Cora's leadership style and his ability to make the team feel like family has been his strong suit as a manager.
As for the lack of motivation, Cora is not necessarily the source of the morale problem that Sununu referenced. Boston relief pitcher Garrett Whitlock expressed last fall that Cora is "a guy you'd run through a wall for" after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays to clinch the American League Division Series in four games.
Sununu didn't just call out Cora. He also looked to Red Sox owner John Henry as one of the reasons for the teams lack of success.
"If you get that energy, that fire, you get things working in the right direction, you can actually get ownership to start maybe not spending 23 hours per day paying attention to Liverpool," Sununu said. "Let's maybe start paying more attention to Boston. This is the core of the John Henry product. And start getting them to make the invests that have to be made here."
According to Sununu, the Sox need a real change in order turn their season around.
"It's a morale issue. It starts with leadership at the top," Sununu concluded. "Sometime, I think you have to clean house, and start going."
Only time will tell if the Red Sox can turn their season around, but firing Cora doesn't sound like a good solution.