It's hard to believe all that has gone on during the time between Chris Sale recording the final out of the 2018 World Series, and now. The Red Sox franchise has changed dramatically, and mostly for the worse. Who would have ever thought, back when the Sox were raising that World Series trophy in Los Angeles, that Alex Cora would be fired just over a year later? Nobody. Yet somehow, here we are watching the Sox implode and Ron Roenicke take the reigns as the skipper.
When Cora was fired, err "mutually parted ways" with the Sox, it was late in the offseason. January is not the time to be shaking up your team by removing their leader, but after all of the reports and allegations about Cora and what part he played in the Houston Astros cheating scandal, it seemed like the Sox had no choice. So how would they move on? Who could be the next manager? I think it was always quite obvious.
While fans and media alike wanted to speculate on all types of names to come and fill the hole in the Boston manager's office, I knew what was coming. They'd just hire Ron Roenicke, because that's the easy thing to do. It was too late in the game and spring training was fast approaching. Roenicke had been Cora's right-hand man and his bench coach during the last two seasons in Boston and the players seemed to like him enough. Was it the right move? Let's discuss.
While Roenicke has familiarity with the team and organization, he doesn't exactly inspire feelings of rejuvenation. Isn't that what this Red Sox season is about? Aren't they trying to reset everything and come back with a vengeance in a year or two? If they truly are, it's stupid and unnecessary, but at least do it the right way and bring in a fresh face to run the ship. Instead, they'll leave a weird stench from the old regime and probably have to end up switching up the scenario again next offseason barring some unforeseen success.
I understand the argument for Roenicke, trust me I do. He's got some experience as he's been a big-league coach since 1992 and has managed before in Milwaukee for a little over 4 years. The changes that Cora made that worked will probably carry over as Roenicke was obviously on the same page as the former manager. Most of all, I guess you don't want to rush a managerial search and set a new guy up to fail by cramming everything in for him and the players like they would have had to do. I doubt we'll ever see anything like this again. Going into spring training without a manager was something I never thought could or would happen.
Nothing about this promotion is exciting though. The Red Sox have a huge issue on their hands right now and that's that they have a pretty much negative approval rating among most fans. They aren't stale, they are disgusting. To make matters worse, they most likely didn't need to fire Cora. At the time, they definitely did and I'll defend them on that. However, as details about the Astros continue coming out, Cora looks better and better. The investigation into the 2018 Red Sox possibly cheating is still ongoing but all rumblings indicate it's much ado about nothing. Instead of the lifetime ban or two-year suspension that seemed incoming, it's likely Cora gets slapped with a year away from the game. This is where Roenicke's "interim" tag comes in.
At this point, if the Red Sox feel they want Cora back once a suspension is over after the season, then they made the right call with Roenicke. You can't bring in an all-new guy on an interim tag and if you still believe Cora is the man for the job, then letting Roenicke keep his seat warm while you punt on the season makes the most sense. Ultimately, this really all comes down to what Rob Manfred and the league office come back with on the Red Sox and Cora. That news should be here before the team breaks camp to head back to Boston. Hopefully Roenicke is prepared and expecting a tough year. He's going to have his hands full, no matter how the chips in the investigation fall.