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The wisdom of Chairman Cora
2006-02-05 20:04
by Bob Timmermann

The smartest man in baseball as designated by both Peter Gammons and Paul Lo Duca, Alex Cora, states that small ball is going take over baseball from now on.

"I know the game," Cora said, "and with everything going on with the steroid policy, there aren't going to be too many more 70 homer seasons or second basemen with 45 homers.

"We're gonna go back to 'small ball.' We saw it in the playoffs. Ozzie gave a lesson in how to play the game right."

Meanwhile later in the same story:

The numbers tilted heavily toward the hitters across the first half of the [Caribbean] Series. The four teams were batting .324 combined with 21 homers and 89 runs scored in a six games -- an average of 7.4 runs per game per team.

Venezuela led the way with 34 runs scored, averaging 11.3 per game, and a .376 team average. Only Mexico, at .284, was below .300 as a club.

The leading hitter was Mexico second baseman Edgar Gonzalez at .818, with nine hits, including a Series-record eight in a row. He was tied with Venzuela's Ramon Hernandez in total bases with 16, Hernandez delivered what historians called the first-ever Series cycle in the opener against Mexico.

Venezuela also had the best team ERA -- 3.33. Next was Puerto Rico, at 5.59. Venezuela's Geremi Gonzalez had the longest stint of any starter, going seven innings, and he's the leader with seven strikeouts.

2006-02-05 21:18:58
1.   das411
Cora must be using a small sample size of only the 2004 Red Sox cause the way I see it, there has really only been one World Series champ since the 1994 strike that has NOT been able to win using small ball.

Ozzie knew this already, he coached for one of those teams.

2006-02-05 23:29:57
2.   Eric L
1 I'm trying to understand your comment. Are you trying to say that small ball is important or not?

As an overall philosophy, the WS winners haven't been really small ball type of teams except for the '03 Marlins. The '05 White Sox stole alot of bases, but they also hit a bunch of homeruns as well (they actually seemed to be pretty well balanced).

2006-02-06 10:41:12
3.   das411
Well, more like small ball is an illusion.

If you look at the teams that have won WS's, a lot of them do end up both hitting HRs AND being able to manufacture a run when they need to, this is why they are able to get to the playoffs and then win once they are there. Examples:

1995 Braves: Some power (Justice, McGriff, LJones) some speed/small ball (Grissom, Lemke, Blauser), excellent pitching.

1996-2000 Yankees: Power (Tino, Strawberry/Chili, pre-2003 Bernie) and small ball (Knoblauch, Jeter, Brosius) with again excellent pitching.

1997 Marlins: Power (Sheffield, Alou, Bobby Bo) + small ball (Devo, Renteria, Castillo) + pitching

2001 Dbacks: Power (LGonzalez, Sanders, Williams) + smallball (Womack, Grace, JBell) + pitching

2002 Angels: Glaus, Salmon, Anderson + Eckstein, Kennedy, Erstad + P

2003 Marlins: Miggy C, Lowell, DLee + Castillo, Pierre, Conine + P + of course the true key, a fantastic 3B coach.

My point is the best teams are able to win both ways, because they are balanced; this is what makes them the best teams. True, the 2005 ChiSox had 4 guys with 10+ SBs, but they also had 8 with at least 13 HRs. Teams at one extreme (2004 Red Sox) or the other (2002 Angels, any Yankee team) can win by overpowering, but the team that does both best tends to win that last game of the season. And oh yeah, good pitching never hurts to have either.

2006-02-07 14:57:35
4.   grandcosmo
But regardless of whether small ball makes a comeback, Alex Cora still sucks.

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