BOSTON - For a short while, there were murmurings that Alex Cora would return to his position as manager of the Boston Red Sox. Cora was dispatched from the team earlier this off-season when he was implicated in a cheating report that was rumored to potentially bring along a ban that could have lasted anywhere from a couple of months to an entire lifetime. With the expected exoneration of the Red Sox from any wrong-doing rumbling from the MLB's investigations, many fans hoped Cora could come back. This was always a pipe dream.
The replacement managerial search had seen names like Mark Kotsay, Carlos Febles, and Luis Urueta thrown into the mix, but ultimately Roenicke was given the position. Regarding Roenicke's potential role in the cheating scandals, Chaim Bloom stated, "We have no reason to think there would be anything to cause an adverse result for Ron in this investigation, but of course the investigation is not complete."
Roenicke has had a long career in the big leagues. From 1981 to 1988, he played for six different teams in baseball, including the Dodgers, Mariners, Padres, Giants, Phillies, and Reds. Following his retirement, he served as a coach and bounced around between the Dodgers and the Angels. From 2011 to 2015, he was named the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, but this tenure ended in time for Roenicke to serve as a bench coach for Cora in the 2018 season. Now, he has the official status of interim manager for the Red Sox. It's a thankless job, but Roenicke seems equipped to do it, at the very least.
Look, none of this situation is ideal, but I think the Roenicke hire is a smart one. An outsider coming to the team so late in the off-season and right at the beginning of spring training would just be awkward. At least the players have a rapport with Roenicke. The plans for the future remain unknown, but I think Roenicke will be a steady hand on the steering wheel for the 2020 campaign. (Or perhaps I'm just grateful that it was anyone not named Bobby Valentine.)
Image via Flickr/Douglas Hoyt