BOSTON — “It’s time to show the web page.”
Alex Cora stated that in his pregame media video convention name Friday morning, earlier than the Boston Purple Sox took the sector for the primary time in 2021. It’s a press release that might be learn in a variety of methods.
Was the previous/new Purple Sox supervisor referring to his return from a one-year suspension out of the Houston Astros dishonest scandals? Possible. Was Cora discussing the 24-36 document the Purple Sox put into the books underneath Ron Roenicke throughout the truncated 2020 season? Most likely. Was the supervisor referring to the truth that half of Friday’s beginning lineup was totally different than the lineup that was on this author’s scorebook that first weekend in late July, when Main League Baseball returned inside its COVID-19 bubble? Certain.
It’s uncommon that six phrases have so many alternative meanings for a baseball workforce and its season destiny. However there might be little doubt that when Cora stated it was time to show the web page, not solely did he imply it from a private perspective, however it was a message that he was greater than prepared to ship out to Purple Sox Nation concerning the 2021 workforce.
That Boston’s offense was AWOL in a 3-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles is what stands out from the opener. The Sox had two hits within the recreation and at one level, Baltimore starter John Means retired 18 consecutive Purple Sox hitters.
Primarily based on that outcome, the Purple Sox would possibly wish to “flip the web page” on this opener and get on to the remainder of the weekend.
The Purple Sox are one of many final groups to get began as a result of Thursday’s opener with the Baltimore Orioles was postponed attributable to climate points. For the reason that groups had a built-in climate day with the off-day Friday, shifting the sport ended up being fairly simple.
“I don’t know if it was meant to be that we didn’t play yesterday,” Cora stated. “We have been in a position to watch lots of people mess around us — the youngsters that have been right here a couple of years in the past and helped us win a World Sequence. It was a reminder that they’re not right here anymore.”
Since Cora was final in Boston, the outfield that everybody thought would anchor the Purple Sox for a decade or extra, is gone. After all, Mookie Betts was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers final yr and helped them win a World Sequence title. On this offseason, Andrew Benintendi was traded to Kansas Metropolis whereas Jackie Bradley Jr. signed as a free agent with Milwaukee.
For these conserving rating at house, Betts was 2 for six with a run scored because the Dodgers misplaced their opener to Colorado 8-5. Betts left seven males on base. Benintendi was 2 for five with two runs scored in Kansas Metropolis’s 14-10 soccer recreation victory over Texas. Bradley Jr. was 0 for 1 in a pinch-hitting position in Milwaukee’s 6-5, 10-inning win over Minnesota.
Replacements for them on Opening Day went 0 for 10. A kind of newcomers, Hunter Renfroe, was 0 for 3 with three swinging strikeouts.
“For us to get to the place we wish to go, we’ve got to show the web page and we’ve got to play higher,” Cora stated. “We have now to do with the group that we’ve got and the group that can be right here sooner or later.”
For the document, solely 5 of the 9 place gamers who have been within the lineup in final yr’s opening weekend towards the Orioles are nonetheless on the Purple Sox roster. Gone are Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, Jose Peraza, Bradley Jr. and Tzu-Wei Lin. Additionally not right here in 2021 are Michael Chavis and Kevin Pillar, each of whom performed within the 2020 sequence finale towards Baltimore.
For Cora, it has been two years for the reason that Houston scandal claimed the roles of Astros normal supervisor Jeff Luhnow and supervisor A.J. Hinch. For Cora’s half within the scandal, which discovered the Astros used a digital camera system to steal indicators in 2017 after they received the World Sequence title, he was banished from the sport for a yr.
“It’s one thing [and] I’m not pleased with it,” he stated, “however on the identical time I’ve a job to do. I’m very pleased to be right here and really excited. It may be 10 levels on the market. I don’t should play. I don’t have to maneuver round, so I’m not going to be complaining an excessive amount of.”
The one complaining will come from the followers in New England if Cora’s Purple Sox get off to a different a type of 6-14 begins like they did in 2020.
In contrast to final yr, dropping one recreation out of 162, even when it’s the first of the season, is just not practically as crushing. How Cora’s Purple Sox reply can be one thing to see.
Then, we’ll discover out for positive if the Purple Sox have turned the web page.