FORT MYERS, Fla. — They were minor decisions about the final few spots on the Red Sox roster, but by making them the way he did, Alex Cora set a precedent.

What he said was this: Game 6 of the World Series means just as much as Game 6 of the Double-A season, so long as those games are in the past. What matters is the present. And after watching his new team for six weeks, Cora made the difficult choice to send Brandon Workman back to Triple-A Pawtucket and give the final two spots in the bullpen to Bobby Poyner and Marcus Walden, two pitchers who never have tasted the big leagues and hardly were on the radars of most outsiders entering camp.

Workman was showing decreased velocity and inconsistent command. Poyner and Walden have been on fire.

With that, Cora all but set his 25-man roster to start the season. While sending a message that big league experience doesn’t matter.

“I never managed in the big leagues,” he said. “Somebody brought that up the other day, that they didn’t pitch in the big leagues. I didn’t manage in the big leagues, so you’re talking to the wrong cat about that.”

Some think this is the newest trend in baseball – experience doesn’t matter.

Theo Epstein remembers when he was 28 and the youngest general manager in baseball history. He had a manager, Terry Francona, who was unlike most managers. Instead of establishing a hierarchy and maintaining traditional rules in the locker room, he made fun of himself and became just one of the guys.

“If you go back 15 years, it’s definitely changed a lot since then,” Epstein said. “I feel like the old guy now. There are a lot of GMs that I don’t know that well, and I rely on some of the younger guys in the office to communicate with them sometimes to get information from them. I’m a dinosaur at 44, apparently.”

Epstein thinks Cora, just 42, is part of that same mold of young and inexperienced baseball men who will find their own particular way to be successful.

“I think it was starting to trend that way maybe five years ago,” Epstein said. “Teams were toying with the idea here and there, maybe interviewing a guy who had no experience. Robin Ventura seemed like one of the first. Now it’s almost commonplace, the majority of guys interviewed are seemingly new or don’t have a lot of experience. It seems like there have been some token interviews of former managers now instead of the way it used to be where having managerial experience was a prerequisite of the job.

“I think the pendulum certainly swung, and it’ll probably settle somewhere in the middle where experience might be underrated or undervalued right now and it’ll probably settle in. That said, I know (Cora) really well, and I think he was a tremendous hire and will have as smooth an adjustment as anyone who takes the job without significant experience.”

Cora has no experience. And maybe that’s why he had no problem rostering players who are looking good right now.

Walden, 29 and a career minor leaguer, struck out 15 in 13 innings with a 0.69 ERA this spring. Poyner, a 25-year-old who finished last season in Double A, struck out eight in 101/3 innings with a 0.87 ERA.

“We felt like there’s guys who are throwing the ball right now better than (Workman) that are going to give us length, especially to start the season, and we went with those guys,” Cora said.

Simple enough.

Epstein praised Cora for having conviction. He even called him stubborn, but in a good way.

Cora said these decisions weren’t his alone. He took advice from his coaches and even soaked up information provided by vice president of research and development (also known as the analytics guy) Zack Scott.

Cora’s willingness to listen is another attribute Epstein praised.

The third was his ability to connect with young players.

“All the players are millennials these days,” Epstein said. “So they don’t have as much of an interest in what to do or how to do it, but it’s why they should do it. You have to involve players in decision-making these days. You have to involve players in planning, strategy and how they’re going to be used and why they’re going to be used in certain ways. Being open-vest with them and being inclusive with them plays great dividends. Tito was one of the forerunners of that, as Joe Maddon was.”

And Cora seems poised to follow suit.

Epstein is a believer.

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