Wilson: Cora Seemed "More At Ease" Than Boone

The Yankees won 100 games this season but couldn't get past the Red Sox in the ALDS

Taz and the Moose
October 10, 2018 - 11:33 am

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The New York Yankees had a great season. They won 100 games and finished with the third-best record in baseball.

But after losing to the Red Sox in four games in the ALDS – and dropping Games 3 and 4 in the Bronx, including a 16-1 embarrassment in Game 3 – the Yankees are left wondering what went wrong.

Yankees fans, meanwhile, have a theory: Aaron Boone.

How big of an advantage was Alex Cora for the Red Sox?

“That’s a tough one,” MLB Network analyst Preston Wilson said on Taz & The Moose. “I will say it looks like Cora may have seemed a little more at ease. Both teams are great teams. Both teams won 100 games. But at the time, you could tell that Alex seemed a little more at ease.”

Of course, it helps that the Red Sox had the best record in baseball, didn’t have to play in the Wild Card, had home-field advantage in the ALDS, and never trailed in the series.

“It’s tough when you’re Aaron Boone,” Wilson said. “You get handed the keys to not a Lamborghini; he got keys to a space shuttle. And you’re asking him to be a first-year manager under those expectations, a team that almost went to the World Series – there’s so many layers to why Aaron Boone could have just crumbled under every second of pressure. 

“(I’m not saying) it was too much for him,” Wilson continued, “but that’s a lot to expect for a first-year manager. Alex Cora, the market is a little different, but I think (winning a World Series) with the Houston Astros the year before, maybe those expectations are a little bit softer for him because he’s been there.”

Cora won a World Series with the Red Sox as a player in 2007 and as a coach with the Astros in 2017. He, like Boone, is a first-year manager. But expectations for Boone may have been higher – especially in a place like New York.

“No matter what anybody says, unless you’ve been there in that capacity, that’s a totally different deal,” Wilson said. “A lot of that may have to do with your support staff. A manager sometimes is as good as the guys he has that he can delegate power to. Maybe it’s a case where sometimes the ability to delegate power to the people you trust lessens some of your responsibility and it takes a little bit of onus off of you as a manager. I think Alex Cora had a lot of things benefitting him in those aspects.”