Among the time-honored customs inside the White House is for the outgoing president to leave a handwritten note for the incoming president. Placed atop the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, the note is meant to be hopeful and forward-looking, with perhaps a dose of advice from someone who understands the pressures of the job.

I’m beginning to wonder if outgoing Red Sox manager John Farrell left a similar message for the man who replaced him, Alex Cora.

Case in point: Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts continues to make reckless, common sense-defying headfirst slides into first base. Written about for more than two years, this after Bogaerts made a headfirst dive into first base in the fifth inning of a day/night doubleheader against Kansas City. Dustin Pedroia was on second with two outs. Bogaerts was out on a close play. The Sox lost, 3-2.

Between games, asked about the Bogaerts dive, which led to the usual hit points about the injury factor and a baserunner actually slows down when making a headfirst dive, Farrell had this to say.

“You can debate whether it’s faster by staying up, but I hold my breath every time he dives into a bag,” Farrell said. “I’m not going to fault him for the aggressive nature with which he plays, the hustle that he gives us every time down the line.”

Farrell did note he’s “fearful” when he sees it happen, that he worries about ” . . . a finger, a wrist, a hand, whatever it might be. That’s something we continue to talk to him about. But it’s an instinctual play for him . . .”

Now we have Cora, who appears to have read the letter from Farrell about saying, sure, Bogaerts shouldn’t dive into first base, except that, well, what are you going to do.

Like Farrell, Cora does the obligatory tsk-tsking whenever Bogaerts dives into first base. But the new manager does so with a twist, pointing out that he was a serial diver during his own playing days.

Here’s Cora on the topic during spring training: “I’m not a fan of it, but I did it. If anybody has an idea how to tell him to stop doing it, please tell me.”

Bogaerts slid headfirst into first (and was out) during the Sox’s 5-2 loss to the White Sox on June 10. Here’s Cora after the game: “You’re asking the wrong guy. I used to dive. It’s hard to explain. I actually had surgery on both of (my wrists). Sometimes it’s instincts, avoiding the tag. Sometimes it’s like desperation. You can’t explain it. Like that last part of the 90 feet, it’s like running in quicksand I guess.”

And here’s Cora this past weekend in Seattle after Bogaerts did you-know-what: “I don’t know, because I used to dive. I talked to him a little bit (Saturday), but I don’t know. We’ll keep talking about it, and hopefully he can stop. I think it’s more about health. Forget about being safe at first, it’s just about health. We’ll see if we can make him stop. It’s like an everyday thing.”

These responses are illogical for one simple reason: We’re not talking about Cora making reckless headfirst slides into first base. We’re talking about Xander Bogaerts making reckless headfirst slides into first base.

Cora gutted out 14 seasons in the bigs, an everyday player in his early years, a utility man later on. He was a member of the Sox’s 2007 World Series champions, but there must have come a point where baseball people determined Cora was not going to be an elite big-league player, if they ever felt that way.

And that’s the problem with Cora putting up his hand and confessing, “I did it,” when asked about Bogaerts and the diving.

Bogaerts, when he’s on, is an elite player. He hit .320 in 2015. In 2016, he hit .294 with an .802 OPS, earning his first All-Star nod. And he’s already hit 12 home runs this season with 41 RBI.

And since everyone is talking about declining attendance in baseball and how to “fix” the game, let’s add this: Bogaerts is an enormously popular player whose every body twitch shouts a deep-in-the-belly love for the game. He’s fun to watch.

The Red Sox can’t afford to lose a player of his caliber over something as goofy as a headfirst dive into first base.

Baseball can’t, either.

Here’s an idea: Bogaerts gets removed from the game every time he dives into first.

Since nothing else has worked, why not give it a shot?

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