Home Sports As Yankees collapse, here’s a scary thought: Alex Cora to New York

As Yankees collapse, here’s a scary thought: Alex Cora to New York

0 comment
NBC Sports Boston

As the Yankees crumble, a terrifying thought emerges: Alex Cora is going to New York Originally appeared in NBC Sports Boston

The fortunes of the Red Sox and Yankees have been intertwined ever since Harry Frazee said, “Here’s Babe Ruth,” but the rivalry lost its recent luster as the clubs took turns competing without much overlap.

Well, it looks like they’re ready to cross paths now, and not just because of the tight standings or The door that Red Sox manager Alex Cora believes has just opened on his team’s chances of making the playoffs.

It is the exit that could take Cora directly from Boston to New York.

If you want a nightmare, here it is: The Yankees, in the midst of their third straight collapse, finally get rid of embattled manager Aaron Boone. That creates an offseason opportunity for baseball’s richest team to court baseball’s best manager.

This is pure conjecture at this point, because Cora once again declined to discuss his future on Tuesday except to say the team has honored his wish to wait until “after the last out, hopefully the World Series.”

But it’s hard to miss the obvious landing spot if the Red Sox allow Cora to hit free agency, where he should break the record $40 million the Cubs just paid Craig Counsell to leave the Brewers.

The Yankees have the means, the roster and, most importantly, the need for a new voice. Cora would transform the fortunes of the franchise overnight. The city’s legendary tabloids would have a field day. “Welcome to the Cora Zone!” under the famous I Love New York heart logo or something like that.

Some have characterized Cora as a lame duck, but the reality is that he is free as a bird, and he knows it. The Red Sox are on a roll, now 10 games over .500 after Tuesday’s 12-9 win over the A’s, and they are not only two games ahead of the Royals in the wild-card race, but have closed to within 3 1/2 games of the Yankees, whose free fall is approaching terminal velocity.

Less than a month ago, New York led Boston by 14 games. Since then, the symmetry has been perfect. The Red Sox have won 17 of 23 games and the Yankees have lost 17 of 23, giving Boston the best record in baseball over that span and New York the worst.

The latter team’s latest loss came Tuesday against the Rays, in the presence of general manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner. In this extended stretch of misery, there was more of the same: a terrible first inning by free agent Carlos Rodón, a failure to capitalize on limited opportunities and a clumsy swing by All-Star Juan Soto, whom the Yankees can ill-afford to lose.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox continue to play their exciting brand of baseball, which included an eight-run second inning Tuesday, starter Brayan Bello recording his first 10 outs via the K and Space Cadet first baseman Triston Casas. Conducting the NESN post-match interview With just the right dose of weirdness.

The Red Sox are everything the Yankees are not: young, relentless, joyful. The Yankees are in Year 3 of Aaron Judge and not much else, and the pressure on Boone is blistering.

In 2022, New York won 64 games in the first half before finishing 35-35 down the stretch and getting swept by the Astros. Last year, they made it to the All-Star break just one game shy of the wild-card round before playing under .500 and missing the playoffs.

Even if Hal didn’t inherit his father’s famous trigger finger, there’s a limit to what a team can take before making a change, especially with the Yankees playing such sloppy baseball. Cashman has shown considerable loyalty to Boone, so perhaps he’ll be allowed to finish the season after carrying the best record in baseball into June. But if this slide into oblivion continues, Cora’s good friend and former ESPN co-worker will be out of a job.

A vacancy in New York would give Cora a huge advantage, and since he has positioned himself perfectly in free agency as a manager, it would be crazy not to take advantage of it. Seeing him go might hurt Red Sox fans more than Mookie Betts, given the fate. And it would further damage a brand already battered by attrition.

Why the Red Sox allowed this to go this far is a mystery, their scattershot approach with Cora baffling. They announced his return last fall, even before hiring Craig Breslow to replace Chaim Bloom, but then let him enter his transition year while Breslow evaluated the organization.

Now, the Red Sox have exceeded everyone’s expectations, starting with ownership, who refused to spend during the offseason. Right now, we’re concerned about whether they’ll correct that mistake at the trade deadline, but there’s a much bigger issue looming over whether they’ll be in the market for a manager this winter because they allowed their vaunted starter to take his talents to New York.

You may also like