The World Series managers, Alex Cora and Dave Roberts, are not idiots!

With social media, the constant criticism of the World Series managers, Alex Cora and Dave Roberts, comes fast and furious when something does not go right. Making a point is one thing, but making it personal like these managers are idiots is another. Both managers led their respective teams to the World Series while the twenty-eight other teams are watching from their homes. While we expect negative analysis, the managers have more information at their fingertips that the rest of us do not possess. 

Take for instance, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts pulled his starter Rich Hill with one out in the 7th inning. Hill had a one-hit shutout going, but he did walk the lead-off man in the inning, at the point that Hill was removed the Dodgers had a 4-run lead and only needed 8 more outs. Roberts said after the game in the postgame press conference that Hill said he was tiring. Hill denied that he told Roberts that rather that he should keep an eye on him during the 7th inning.

That was not even the start of the second and third guessing in the game. That started with the line-up cards submitted, and Alex Cora’s choice of pitching Eduardo Rodriguez. As it turned out, ERod was very effective until he wasn’t in the 6th inning. All you had to be doing was following Washington Post veteran sports writer Thomas Boswell as he was tweeting. By the time ERod was pulled at the 5 2/3 mark, he gave up a run scoring groundout then a 3-run home run as he spiked his fielding glove in disgust on the mound in Shawn Kelley-esque form sans a stare into the dugout.


Boswell tweeted that the rookie manager Cora was out-managed in the series then wrote “awful managing”, and then wished that instead of ERod spiking his glove that he spiked his catcher Christian Vazquez or Cora or both. Sure, I commented early in the inning that I would have pulled Rodriguez after he faced the lefty Max Muncy to start the inning as I would not want him facing the hot right-handed Justin Turner on his third time through the batting order. As it turned out, Turner doubled, and then ERod walked Manny Machado then got Cody Bellinger on what should have been an inning ending doubleplay, but thwarted by a throwing error. The next batter, Yasiel Puig, crushed a 92 mph two-seamer for a long three-run home run — and before you knew it — the score was 4-0 as Puig celebrated what he thought was the game winner. It was not.

The Red Sox would go on to score 9 unanswered runs at the time to take a 9-3 lead into the bottom of the 9th inning. When Ryan Madson entered the game, the Dodgers were still leading 4-0, and he gave up his 8th run of the World Series of which 7 of those runs were charged to other pitchers as he allowed all of their inherited runners to score. Madson left the game with a 4-3 lead. If Roberts is criticized for anything, it might be his questionable discretion in going back to Madson again in a key spot.

When it was all said and done, the Dodgers lost another game they should have won, and Dave Roberts is the only manager in the last 10-years teams to lose a game when leading by 4+ runs in the World Series. Roberts has accomplished that feat twice now with the only 2 losses with last night’s loss and a heartbreaker last year in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series against the Astros. Managers other than Roberts had a 31-0 record when leading by more than 4-runs in the World Series in the past ten years. Previously this year, the Dodgers were 54-0 when leading by 4+ runs.

Politics and sports have an odd way of mixing, and Dave Roberts was even criticized by the President:

After 11 people were murdered in a Pittsburgh synagogue yesterday, the game started with a moment of silence and Rich Hill thought the President should have been focused on that, and not on Dave Roberts’ managing. Everyone has an opinion and some….

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