Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was forced to say the right things about Tanner Houck, despite blowing another game in Toronto.
Cora cannot alienate his players, that much is clear. But the Sox fate in a potential playoff preview with the Blue Jays on Tuesday night frustrated the majority of fans.
Blowing a lead is always unfortunate. Doing so without your closer in place because of a personal choice is less than ideal.
“I mean, we go with the 26 (players) that are here,” Cora said after the game, per The Athletic. “And we tried to get 27 outs, and we didn’t do it.”
That’s simple enough. It says absolutely nothing, and contains very little emotion. It’s everything you have to know about this situation. Cora, and the Red Sox as a whole, are between a rock and a hard place.
Red Sox could be screwed with Tanner Houck situation
The Sox and Jays are on a postseason collision course at the moment. As of right now, that series would provide Toronto with home-field north of the border, meaning Houck, Chris Sale and others wouldn’t be allowed to play in the majority of the games.
Canada does not have a vaccine mandate for its citizens. However, in order to travel into the country from the United States, all travelers must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Due to their own beliefs, Houck, Sale, Jarren Duran and more have opted against a simple medical procedure.
Many of Houck’s teammates echoed the comments of Cora. Despite the fan outrage, the media received few soundbites in the clubhouse.
“I mean, he’s a stud pitcher,” Michael Wacha said. “But we knew what we were going into coming here. This is what it is.”
Boston’s playoff fate could depend on the medical choices of a few of their players. This is 2022. It is what it is.