To be fair, it wasn’t a big extension. The Red Sox basically just added an extra year onto his current contract, meaning he’s locked up through the 2021 season. But it was a nice little gesture of respect from the organization to the man who just completed his first season at the helm, and honestly, it was the least they could do.
In just one season, Cora gave the Red Sox and their fans arguably the second most historic and memorable season in franchise history, behind only 2004 (nothing will ever top that one). Cora’s Red Sox won 108 games in the regular season, and then breezed through an incredible tough playoff field all the way to a World Series championship almost as if it was child’s play.
Other than a few terrifying Craig Kimbrel outings, they made winning the World Series look like a cakewalk. I didn’t agree with every decision Cora made along the way, but how could I argue against a manager who just kept hemorrhaging wins for seven straight months?
The only question is, will Cora be able to keep this up? The first part of Cora’s job is complete, and that was to get the Red Sox back to a place where they can play in and win a World Series. Cora did that, but that doesn’t mean that his job is complete.
He has to keep it going. He has to have the Red Sox playing like a title contender again in 2019. If he doesn’t, people will start to doubt him, and possibly even call him a one-year wonder. We already went through this experience with John Farrell just a few short years ago.
Obviously, nobody can expect the Red Sox to win 108 games every single year under Cora’s leadership. There are some things that happened in 2018 that just won’t be able to be done again, and that’s okay. Cora doesn’t have to win 100-plus games year after year, though we wouldn’t complain if he did.
But what he does have to do is keep the Red Sox winning. He does have to keep putting this team in position to get to the playoffs year after year. He has to keep them in the World Series discussion.
I believe Cora is a guy that can do it. He’s clearly a very likable guy, and these players undoubtedly love playing for him. Even though it might not always be clear what he’s thinking, he always seems to have a plan.
Red Sox fans seem to love him as well, and after the season he just delivered, how could you not? But Cora will have his work cut out for him. He made an impact right away, leading the Red Sox to their ninth World Series title in franchise history. And now that that’s out of the way, the hard part is about to begin.