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Cora, players react to Dombrowski's dismissal

@IanMBrowne
September 9, 2019

BOSTON -- The decision the Red Sox made to part ways with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was tough for manager Alex Cora and his players to come to grips with. The main reason it is so tough is the collective remorse that their performances could have led to

BOSTON -- The decision the Red Sox made to part ways with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was tough for manager Alex Cora and his players to come to grips with.

The main reason it is so tough is the collective remorse that their performances could have led to Dombrowski's sudden departure with three weeks left in the season.

"It's a little frustrating, because we feel like if we would have done a better job, he'd still be here," said Red Sox righty Nathan Eovaldi.

Eovaldi was a player Dombrowski secured last July in a trade with the Rays. That turned out to be a huge move, because Eovaldi dominated throughout the postseason, helping the team win the World Series.

But Dombrowski's decision to sign Eovaldi to a four-year, $68 million contract once he became a free agent didn't work out as well -- at least in the context of 2019.

Eovaldi missed three months following right elbow surgery and has a 5.77 ERA in 19 appearances this season, eight of them starts.

"It all comes down to us," said Eovaldi. "It's our job to win and we haven't been doing that up to this point, and we haven't lived up to expectations that we had for ourselves. We have to try to finish strong."

5 players most affected by Dombrowski's exit

For Cora, realizing that he will no longer see Dombrowski on a daily basis was particularly tough. It was Dombrowski who recommended the Red Sox hire someone with no professional managerial experience in October 2017.

"I talked to him this morning just to thank him for trusting me and giving me a chance to become a big league manager," Cora said. "The process was a long one. There were four or five teams that decided to go in another direction. I learned from that process, and all of a sudden, this guy with 40 years of experience is like, 'Go ahead, kid. I think you can do this.' And here I am, because of him."

However, Cora had an understanding that these things happen in baseball, and he's confident in where the Red Sox will go from here.

Assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Brian O'Halloran and Zack Scott will share Dombrowski's duties for the remainder of the season. That trio will be joined by Raquel Ferreira, the club's senior vice president of Major and Minor League operations, who will take on an expanded role.

"Right now, we've got four people that are going to be running the baseball operations who are very respected," Cora said. "They're not new for me, because between Dave and the four of them, they're always around as people we really trust and like. It's going to be interesting, obviously, because it's a new dynamic, but it's not that new.

"Because one thing about it, the last two years, it's all about teamwork here. Eddie, Raquel, Zack and BOH, that's what they're going to try to do, try to put this organization at its best every day."

Ownership decided not to hold a press conference to discuss the decision to let Dombrowski go.

Cora didn't think it was appropriate to divulge whatever reasons ownership gave him for the change.

"I think the organization decided to move in a different direction just like it says in the statement," Cora said. "I don't think they have to go into details. I think the organization just decided that it was time to move on."

The manager expressed confidence that things will run smoothly going forward.

"This organization has done amazing things for a while," said Cora. "They have made changes throughout, and obviously people outside the walls of Fenway maybe don't like it. Some of them, they do. But us, as people that work here, we've got to respect it.

"We'll see what happens, we'll see where we go, but I do believe we're going to be fine. Obviously you see the track record of our ownership group. They've been very successful. Although it's a tough day, at the same time, you trust that the decision that they made and whoever comes here is going to do the job and put us in a good spot."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.