How Will New Head of Operations, Manager Fair in Boston
The Red Sox are starting fresh with Chaim Bloom and Ron Roenicke taking over Chief Baseball Operator, and manager roles respectively.
This might be tough for Red Sox fans at first, but you pronounce it "HIGH-em". Now, on with the article
It was frankly refreshing learning what Chaim Bloom did in Tampa Bay after Dave Dombrowski's stint as general manager in Boston. Red Sox fans should be pleased to know that Bloom is basically the opposite type of GM than Dombrowski. Yes, Bloom had a lot less money to work with in Tampa than Dombrowski in Boston, but he should be able to bring those principles into the Red Sox system.
Bloom basically did everything in Tampa Bay. According to the Rays website,
“Bloom’s experience spans every area in baseball operations. His responsibilities expanded to include contract negotiation, salary arbitration, budgets and oversight of major league support staff and international scouting. He also focused on trade negotiations, pro, amateur and international scouting philosophy, personnel additions and changes throughout baseball operations, and short- and long-term strategic planning for the department."
It's never a bad thing when someone can do it all. In addition, the Rays are one of the most analytically driven teams in baseball, so Bloom should be able to bring that to Boston.
No doubt, it has not been an easy start to his tenure with the Red Sox for Bloom. He had to trade the face of the franchise, underwent an investigation into his team, was forced to fire his manager, and then, well, the pandemic. He has and will face criticism for the Mookie Betts trade, but the bottom line is, Betts was not going to re-sign in Boston. Red Sox fans need to understand that before they go lashing out at Bloom. And honestly, getting a guy with a lot of potential in return in Alex Verdugo is a huge bonus.
As for the investigation, and the decision about Alex Cora, Bloom didn't really have many choices. Cora cheated, so they "mutually" parted ways.
Personally, I like what Bloom has done. Signing Kevin Pillar is an under rated move. Pillar is an excellent defender, whose hitting does not get enough credit as it should. Last season he hit 21 home runs and 88 RBI while batting a respectable .259.
A Yale graduate just like Theo Epstein, the man who helped break the curse in Boston, Bloom certainly has the pedigree as well. John Henry wanted to move on from Dombrowski's style, which was basically just spend every penny you have. It did win them a World Series, but was not built for long term success. Bloom worked with a small budget in Tampa, and should be able to do that in Boston as well. Bringing him in was a really good move.
Despite talk around the media, the Red Sox chose to stay within the system in their hiring of Ron Roenicke. Roenicke played eight seasons in the majors with six different teams as a fourth outfielder and pinch runner. Shortly after his playing career ended, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers coaching staff. His managerial career began in the Dodgers minor league system.
He worked his way up with the Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Angels. He was then hired as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2011 season. In his first year, the Brewers went 96-66, their most successful season in franchise history. They would end up losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. Roenicke finished second in NL Manager of the Year voting.
Despite above .500 seasons in 2012 and '14, the Brewers would not make the postseason again during Roenicke's tenure. After a 7-18 start to the 2015 season, Roenicke was let go by Milwaukee.
After a few small stints as third base coach with the Dodgers and Angels, the Red Sox hired Roenicke to be their base coach under Alex Cora in 2017. Three years later, and he is once again an MLB manager, this time in Boston.
The hiring of Roenicke was certainly not a risky move, but honestly, the Red Sox don't need a move like that at this time. They need someone who knows the organization, the players, and is just going to get the job done. Roenicke's history is both reassuring and not at the same time though. It is tough to judge his signing at the moment, just because we really don't know how the Sox will do next year.
Personally, I think they will do better than most think. Last season, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez were just as good if not better than Mookie Betts. A bounce back year from Andrew Benintendi, and a strong start from Kevin Pillar would be big as well. Easily the most important thing though is their pitching. If they can be just have decent, the Red Sox will contend for the playoffs.
Right now, all we can do is wait for the season to start before we really start judging these moves by the Red Sox. At the moment, I really like the decision to bring in Chaim Bloom. I am less convinced about Roenicke, but definitely think that he could be a really good fit for the job.
As always, please let us know what you think in the comments section below!