In the offseason, the Boston Red Sox named Ron Roenicke as interim manager for 2020. With the MLB investigation complete, the interim tag has been removed.
Yesterday was a big day for the Red Sox and all of the Fenway Faithful. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred finally delivered the results of his investigation into the 2018 regular season. Boston will lose a second-round draft pick, Alex Cora is suspended through this season, and the replay room attendant J.T. Watkins is suspended through 2020.
One man that was cleared very early in this process was Ron Roenicke. He was the bench coach during 2018 but the MLB was fast to clear his name this offseason. This then gave the Red Sox the ability to name him the interim manager as he was the perfect fit for the job. Now that the investigation has been completed the organization was able to remove the interim tag from his job title.
Red Sox CBO Chaim Bloom spoke to the media after the report was made public to announce that Roenicke is the full-fledged manager for 2020.
"“At the time that we named Ron interim manager, we explained the interim tag was necessary in order for us to respect that there was an ongoing investigation,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said. “Obviously, with that investigation complete and given the results of the investigation, that interim tag is removed and Ron is now our manager.”"
As of now, Roenicke will be the manager for just the 2020 season as his existing contract is set to expire once the calendar flips to 2021. The two parties could always come to a new agreement in the meantime, but for now, he’ll be the skipper for just this year.
With AC only being suspended through this season there are many that want him back in 2021, though there is a contingent that wants him to stay away from Boston.
The positive of Roenicke’s deal expiring soon is that he won’t be fired to make room for Cora. He’ll be able to serve out his term and very well could have a new contract that allows him to either continue as manager or go back to being the bench coach under a returning Cora.
"“The fact the contract runs out after 2020 doesn’t mean that he can’t or won’t manage beyond that date,” Bloom said. “It’s just we thought we were best served, given the uniqueness of the situation, maintaining the length of the situation. I would repeat everything I said on the day we named him interim manager. I was really impressed getting to know him through the interview process and things I had heard about him throughout the league.”"
Roenicke spent eight years in the Majors as a player and was then the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers for five seasons. Add his previous management experience into his years as a coach in several organizations, and I think he’s a great fit for this season. His experience with this team will lend a familiar face to the clubhouse during a really weird situation that will be the 2020 season.
None of us know just what this season will look like as the world is still trying to cope with the coronavirus putting everything on hold. There are several rumored plans for when and where the season could be played out but nothing has been set in stone. So having someone that has been in this organization for the last few years while things are so uncertain is a blessing.
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Having Roenicke in the skipper’s chair for this campaign will continue a message and voice that was set into motion under Cora. We saw how well the players thrived under that message in 2018 though things went off the rails last year. Being a veteran of not only the player aspect of the game but on the management side as well, he has a great chance to succeed in this role.
I won’t lie and say that I wouldn’t be excited to see Cora back as the manager of the Red Sox. I loved Cora as a player with Boston and even more so as a manager. However, Ron Roenicke has more than earned his chance to manage another big-league club and I truly feel he has the ability to succeed.
We got a glimpse of what he was capable of during spring training where not only the veteran players but the prospects thrived under his leadership. I know we can only grade spring training to a certain degree, but I was a big fan of what I saw under his leadership. I’m anxious for the season to get underway so we can see what Ron Roenicke is able to do with this team now that the handcuffs are off. He’s more than earned this opportunity and I have all the faith in his skills to lead this team back to the postseason.