BOSTON (CBS) –Alex Cora had a historic first season as Red Sox manager, guiding the team to a franchise record 108 wins during the regular season.
The Sox did damage from start to finish, with the season culminating in a World Series title. Cora is on the top of the baseball world, and received a contract extension from Boston for his efforts. Somehow, that extension doesn’t extend into the next century, but that’s an argument for another day.
For now, the focus is set on Cora losing out to Oakland’s Bob Melvin for AL Manager of the Year. Steve Burton can’t believe Cora lost, but Scott Sullivan believes the Boston skipper should have come in third place in the voting, behind Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash and Melvin.
A hearty argument ensued on the latest edition of “A Slice of Sully.”
“Bob Melvin deserved to win. I think [Cora] should have come in third,” said Sully. “He did a great job and I’m not denying that one bit. But Bob Melvin did a better job as manager of the Oakland Athletics. The A’s came in with 75 wins last season, the smallest payroll in baseball and they made a 22-win improvement… They came out of nowhere and made the playoffs.”
Burton argues that Cora set a franchise record for 108 wins, and no matter what he accomplished during the regular season, voters were going to hold Boston’s gigantic payroll against him.
“No matter what Cora could have done, it wouldn’t have been enough,” said Burton.
While there is no denying Cora’s greatness, Sully reminds everyone that this is a regular season award and Boston’s postseason dominance did not factor in. Add in the fact that both Melvin and Cash hit 90 wins with nearly a third of Boston’s payroll, and he believes they both deserved the honor over Cora.
“The other guys did much more with much less. If I had a vote, I would have voted for Kevin Cash,” said Sully. “108 wins is fantastic, I get it. But how many wins were they supposed to have? They should have had 100 wins anyways.
“I can’t name anyone on Tampa’s team, and [the Red Sox] play them 18 times a year. Can you? They won 90 games in the AL east with the Sox and Yankees, with bullpen by committee for most of the season,” Sully said of the Rays.
“It’s a regular season award. If you throw in the World Series, then sure, [Cora’s] the manager of the year. But that doesn’t count. In the regular season, he had a great year, but Bob Melvin deserved it,” said Sully.
What say you faithful slicers? Was Cora snubbed or did the voters get it right?