I love numbers. Not that I was a great math student, but I love to look at patterns. I wasn’t blessed with a ton of athletic talent, and I probably don’t look as much like Brad Pitt as I think I do. But I have a gift of remembering dates, scores, and numbers.
If you tell me your PIN is 1967, I’d just think, “Impossible Dream”, and I would never forget it. If you said your birthday is August 4th, I’d think, “the final score of the last middle school baseball game I played in was 8-4”, and bam (no, not that Bam), I’d remember it for life.
So as I’ve watched several innings of the Red Sox opening week, I got to thinking; Maybe the Red Sox ought to fire their manager every year. You say, Toby, that’s being awfully critical, isn’t it? I mean, Alex Cora is 8-1 as the Sox manager so far (being the realist, I will tell you that me and eight of my closest friends could beat Tampa Bay and Miami, but I digress), and they are getting great pitching. To that, I say you are right, but look at the numbers, and then you may feel the same way.
I’m not going back to the Joe Cronin days. If you want 1940’s Red Sox history, you’re reading the wrong blog. Let’s talk since the 1980’s. It doesn’t always work out, but numbers are on my side. In 1988, the .500 Sox fire John McNamara at the All-Star break, and replace him with Joe Morgan. They win 12 straight games, 24 straight at Fenway, and overtake Detroit to win the AL East.
Butch Hobson doesn’t help my story, so let’s leave him out. In 1995, Kevin Kennedy took over and the Sox won the East (86 wins).
1997, Jimy Williams didn’t make the playoffs in his first season, but they did the next two years, losing to Cleveland (92 wins) and NY (94 wins).
In 2002, Grady Little was at the helm and the Sox won 93 games, just missing out on the playoffs. They would make the postseason a year later, but I can’t seem to remember what happened…..insert Aaron “Bleepin’” Boone.
You all know what Terry Francona and John Farrell did in their first seasons as Boston’s skipper, so it shows you, first years matter, unless you’re a dumpster fire like Bobby Valentine.
Alex Cora, good luck in your first season as Red Sox manager. You’ve gotten off to a great start. Who knows, maybe in October, the Sox will be raising a World Series trophy at Fenway Park, and Alex Cora will be out of a job. I know you hate to admit it, but if winning is what you want, I might just be right……...for once.