I'm sure many of you will be very happy with the news that Joey Cora has supposedly been promoted from third base coach to bench coach. I use the word "supposedly" because I didn't hear the news directly as reported by ESPN 1000 in Chicago, instead I found it posted minutes apart on two different White Sox message boards. These reports, if false, are usually shot down right away by the mob. And since they've made it a full 9 hours without much skepticism, I think it's safe to say that ESPN 1000 did indeed report that Cora will be named bench coach. Whether you choose to believe ESPN 1000 and Bruce Levine (I presume) is up to you.
As for me, I've got nothing better to write about so...
I'm not going to be dancing in the streets just yet. Cora may have been a little aggressive for my liking, but his decisions at third came up smelling like roses for better part of three seasons. It wasn't until June or July of this season that I cringed every time a ball was hit in the hole to left field with a runner on second base.
There's no denying Cora was hurting the ballclub with his overly aggressive style in the second half of the season, but that half a season only amounts to 1/6th of his time as the White Sox otherwise very good third base coach. We'd be relatively forgiving of a player who had given us two and a half good seasons followed by a poor half, that is unless his name was Freddy Garcia. I'm willing to extend the same leeway to coaches too. After all, there's not a third base coach in baseball who hasn't been met with acrimony from the fans at one point or another.
Cora's replacement at third is (supposedly) the White Sox AAA affiliate Charlotte Knights' manager, Razor Shines, who is currently managing the Tiburones down in Venezuela with Cora also serving as coach in some unknown capacity. Part of the reason I'm not quick to replace Cora is that you're not guaranteed to find a better replacement even though it often seemed as if a deftly positioned scarecrow was all that stood between the Sox and some big rallies.
For instance, Razor Shines has guided his past three clubs to the post-season thanks, at least in some part, to a hard-nosed, take no prisoners, uber-aggressive style of play. He pushes guys to steal, take the extra base, or 'force the issue' as Hawk would say, much more often than you've seen from Ozzie. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Shines will actually be a more aggressive third base coach than was Cora. Scary thought.
Both message boards are also saying that bullpen coach and unofficial ambassador to the game, Man Soo Lee, will not return to the Sox, instead managing a team in his home country of Korea. I heard the same rumblings in the LF stands in the middle of the season.
Jon Heymen of SI has written blurbs about the Sox attempt to acquire A-Rod twice in the last 48 hours. In his latest, he says that the Sox may have offered two starters (not including McCarthy) in their preliminary bid to snag A-Rod. Both of the articles are framed by the notion that the Sox are looking to drop payroll, which, I think we all can agree, isn't the Sox main goal this off-season. Which also begs the question, how would you go about adding the most expensive player in baseball while simultaneously making your club more competitive and dropping payroll?