The Boston Red Sox unexpected managerial search is over, as the club announced Tuesday that Ron Roenicke will be its 48th manager in franchise history.
But he’ll do so with a twist. The Red Sox named Roenicke — their bench coach for the past two seasons — as “interim” manager. Nonetheless, Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that the Red Sox have notified their other candidates, so it sounds like Roenicke gets a full year to prove himself and not just a spring tryout for the job. By Tuesday afternoon, the Red Sox had made the hiring official and were planning a press conference to introduce Roenicke.
New Red Sox GM Chaim Bloom said in a statement: “Ron’s extensive coaching and managerial experience, in addition to his familiarity with our players and staff, make him an ideal fit as we prepare for the 2020 season. He has the respect of everyone in the clubhouse, and the way he carries himself and communicates will be a positive influence on our entire organization. We are confident that Ron will hit the ground running, and we’re excited to work closely with him."
Roenicke’s hiring comes after Alex Cora was fired on Jan. 14 for his connection to the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. The Red Sox are also under investigation for a separate sign-stealing scheme that allegedly occurred under Cora’s watch during the team’s run to the 2018 World Series.
The team could still face punishment from MLB, but there was little time for Boston to waste in naming a manager. Red Sox pitchers and catchers officially reported to spring training Tuesday, with position players following Sunday.
The move comes after a busy week in Red Sox news, in which they agreed to trade Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers only to see the move held up for six days because of medical concerns about a prospect they were getting back. The reworked deal was finalized Monday, as the team maintained that it can compete in 2020 without Betts and Price.
This was already going to be a tough job for a new manager to walk into, but doing it without the Red Sox’s best player will only make it tougher.
When their manager search started, CEO Sam Kennedy said the Red Sox were looking for “someone who fits the culture and has a knowledge of what it's going to take to put a championship team on the field in 2020." The Red Sox clearly feel Roenicke fits that bill and will be capable of handling the fallout.
Roenicke, 63, was previously the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 to 2015, going 342-331 in that time, which included a first-place finish in 2011. He was fired 25 games into the 2015 season and then spent 2016 and 2017 on the Los Angeles Dodgers coaching staff before joining Cora’s Red Sox staff.
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