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Third base coach Joey Cora dismissed by Pirates

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Cincinnati Reds v. Pittsburgh Pirates
Godspeed, Joey.
Photo by Joe Sargent/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Today, the Pirates announced that they have dismissed third base coach Joey Cora, who just completed his fifth season with the team.

General manager Ben Cherington:

“We would like to thank Joey for his passion for the job and his commitment in continuously helping our players grow as big leaguers. Even though this was a difficult decision, we wanted to make it now out of respect for Joey so that it allows him to immediately be able to pursue other opportunities. We wish Joey nothing but the best moving forward.”

From Jake Crouse at MLB.com:

“Joey Cora is a great baseball man whose love for the game and passion for the job was obvious every day that he represented the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said manager Derek Shelton. “I want to thank him for his commitment to the organization along with all the time and dedication that he gave to our players.”

Bucs infielder Kevin Newman publicly credited Cora, who was a middle infielder for much of his 11-year MLB career, for his defensive resurgence this season.

“I was sending him videos of drills and stuff I was doing in the offseason — and he was telling me advice and things I could keep doing better and better.”

Pirates fans were a little mixed about Cora’s coaching, with some claiming that he took too many chances when deciding whether or not to encourage a baserunner to advance. Still, Joey was a familiar and friendly coaching face. His dismissal means there are two coaching positions the Bucs need to fill, as no replacement has been found yet for former hitting coach Rick Eckstein, who was fired in August.

It’ll be interesting to see where he goes.