Monday, June 14, 2010

Alex Cora Is So 'Money', and He Doesn't Even Know It

It's pretty clear that the Mets keep Alex Cora around because he's a smart baseball guy, almost another coach. Frequently you'll see skipper Jerry Manuel conferring with Cora about some decision he's contemplating.

Cora's on-field skills alone probably wouldn't merit a spot on the roster: a .223 average, less power than my neighborhood after that crazy windstorm in March. But despite having zero home runs (a bagel!), Cora's got 14 ribbies in just 94 at-bats--nothing to sneeze at.

SNY guy Gary Cohen noted Cora's knack for hitting with runners in scoring position yesterday against the Orioles. (Speaking of the Orioles, can Selig send the whole team down to triple A for a year and bring up the top AAA team in the country in their stead? I mean, c'mon! They look like Australia's Socceroos out there!)

"Cora's been amazing this year," said Cohen. "He hasn't hit at all except when money's been on the table."

Hadn't heard that phrase before, maybe because of the iffy relationship between baseball and gambling.

When we were kids, we called baserunners "ducks on the pond" in that situation--a quaint idiom that fits baseball's rural profile.

We've mentioned before the overlap of corporate-speak and baseball-speak; business types frequently mention not "leaving money on the table", as in, not charging enough (or anything) for a good or service that people are probably willing to part with a few shillings for.
"Don't Leave Money on the Table!" bellows a headline from Forbes back in 2008 in a business story that kicks off with a small-time seller of sweet syrups who Forbes figures should be doing much better revenues.
"Money's on the table" brings up just shy of 29,000 links on Google. At a quick glance, none of the links seem to be related to baseball.
In other cases, the player himself is the money. Witness the Miami Herald discussing moody slugger Hanley Ramirez:

He is also fully aware that he isn't producing the way he did a season ago when he won the National League batting title and was money with runners in scoring position.


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