Roenicke Was The Smart Choice For Red Sox Manager


On the eve of the start of pitchers and catchers beginning workouts in Fort Myers, the Red Sox finally named a manager to replace Alex Cora.  Well, almost.  The team announced that bench coach Ron Roenicke has been given the title of Interim Manager.

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Why the interim tag?  In the introductory press conference, Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom stated it was “out of respect” for the investigation being conducted by Major League Baseball into the Red Sox alleged cheating scandal.  Bloom went on to say the permanency of the position will be addressed once the investigation is completed.

The Red Sox have been without a manager since the team and Alex Cora decided to “part ways” in mid-January.  Given the timing of being so close to the start of spring training, with most teams being set for their coaching staffs and reluctant to allow prospective managerial candidates to leave, and with managerial vacancies in both Houston and New York, the choices and time to find a replacement were short.

Gear up for the 2020 MLB Season with new gear from NikeThe team reportedly interviewed former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, former MLB player and Padres and A’s coach Mark Kotsay, Diamondbacks Bench Coach Luis Urueta, and current Third Base Coach Carlos Febles.  But to no one’s surprise the team eventually chose to go with Roenicke, a man who knows and is known by the organization, and who also has four plus years of managerial experience with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 through 2015.

Roenicke managed the Brewers to the National League Championship Series in his first year as Brewers skipper in 2011 before losing to St. Louis.  He also was at the helm in 2014 when the team led the NL Central Division before much of the season before collapsing in August and September and missing out on the playoffs.  His overall record as a major league manager is a respectable 342-331.

Roenicke also has experience with controversy.  The Ryan Braun steroid debacle occurred during Roenicke’s tenure as Milwaukee manager.

The Red Sox could have chosen to go outside the organization and attempt to get out from under the Cora umbrella by making a fresh start with a new manager.  But with speculation swirling that the looming MLB investigation into the Red Sox will not lead to severe penalties, it became more likely Roenicke would not be implicated in the scandal.  As such, it made sense from a continuity standpoint to simply retain the staff and make Roenicke the head man.

The recent trade of superstar Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, which dragged out for days amid reports that Red Sox ownership were having second thoughts about making trade, did not project the team in a good light.  With players reporting to Spring Training still reeling from the news, it was not the time to introduce an unknown element and create a further disruption to a team looking to rebound from a disappointing 2019.  Roenicke was the safe choice.

By all accounts Roenicke is well respected in the Red Sox clubhouse.  Whether he can manage under the intense Boston media microscope remains to be seen.  The bigger question is whether he is the Red Sox long-term plans.

Cora was not penalized for his role in the Houston Astros cheating scandal despite being implicated as being the “mastermind” of the scheme in his role as the team’s bench coach.  MLB deferred punishment of Cora pending the investigation into the Red Sox cheating accusations, which allegedly occurred in Cora’s first year as Sox manager.  If the Red Sox are exonerated by the MLB, could Roenicke simply be keeping the seat warm for an eventual Cora return?  For the sake of the stability of the franchise, and us fans, let’s hope that’s not the case.

In his introductory press conference Roenicke stated he wants to “be as aggressive as I can without being stupid.”  This simple quote was so refreshing to hear after the ramblings of John Farrell and the smartest-guy-in-the-room quips from Cora.  Roenicke seems like a bit of a throwback to a simpler time in baseball, which is exactly what Red Sox fans need right now.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Roenicke Was The Smart Choice For Red Sox Manager
Roenicke Was The Smart Choice For Red Sox Manager
Boston Sports Syndicate
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