The Boston Red Sox plan to promote bench coach Ron Roenicke to manager once MLB concludes their investigation into sign-stealing allegations.
Roenicke has long been considered among the favorites to land the job. He served as the bench coach under Alex Cora and has experience as a big league manager from his time with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011-2015.
The only thing holding up an official announcement is that the Red Sox are still waiting to hear the outcome of MLB’s investigation into the sign-stealing allegations that took place during the 2018 season. It would be a bad look for the Red Sox if they hired someone from Cora’s staff only for that coach to be implicated in the investigation.
Reports that Roenicke is the top choice suggests the Red Sox are confident that MLB hasn’t found enough evidence to warrant punishment on the level of what the Houston Astros were slapped with. Or at least they have reason to believe that Roenicke will be exonerated.
The feeling all along has been that it will be Roenicke. The newspaper owned by John Henry is reporting that the Red Sox plan to hire Roenicke. Yet the team is still denying that a decision has been made.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also reported that former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons interviewed for the open Red Sox managerial position earlier this week. The timing of that report seems odd. Why would information about an interview leak out now if a decision has already been made?
WEEI’s Rob Bradford also reported that none of the managerial candidates have been informed of a decision yet.
It’s clear that Roenicke is the man for the job but the Red Sox are cautious of announcing the decision until MLB releases the results of their investigation in order to protect themselves against the worst case scenario. News of their intentions spilled out and the front office is desperately trying to put a lid back on it until they are ready to make it official.
All of which leads to more confusion for a frustrated fan base. The Red Sox are telling us, “Nope, we haven’t decided yet if he’s our guy” but we all expect that they will eventually pivot once the hire is made to saying “He was our top choice the whole time!”
MLB’s investigation appears to be wrapping up with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred going as far as to say that he hopes to have a resolution before camp opens. Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers next Tuesday so we’re running out of time for that to happen.
If we learn by this weekend that MLB has no intention of punishing Roenicke, expect the Red Sox to quickly announce him as their next manager. That would allow him to enter camp in his new role and prevent the unenviable scenario of starting spring training without a manager in place.