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Pittsburgh Pirates’ Yoshi Tsutsugo, right, stands third, speaking with coach Joey Cora, left, after hitting an RBI brace and advancing on an error in the third inning of the team’s baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)

PA

The Pittsburgh Pirates have fired third baseman Joey Cora after five seasons in the role.

The Pirates announced the move on Saturday, less than a week after finishing 61-101 and last in NL Central.

“We would like to thank Joey for his passion for the job and his dedication to continually helping our players grow as big leagues,” said Pirates general manager Ben Cherington. “Even though it was a difficult decision, we wanted to make it now out of respect for Joey so that it would allow him to immediately pursue other opportunities.”

Cora, 56, the older brother of Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, has often been criticized by Pittsburgh fans for aggressively praising the runners. The Pirates have ranked among the major league leaders in strikeouts.

Cora, a second baseman for most of his 11 years in the big leagues, has also worked with the Pittsburgh infielders. The Pirates have made just 70 mistakes this season, the least in the majors.

“Joey Cora is a great baseball player whose love for the game and passion for the job were evident every day he represented the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said manager Derek Shelton. “I want to thank him for his commitment to the organization and for all the time and dedication he has given to our players.”

Cora was previously a bench coach for the Chicago and Miami White Sox.


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