FORT MYERS, Fla. — The interim tag affixed to Ron Roenicke’s managerial appointment by the Red Sox added to what has been growing curiosity over the past four weeks. Is there a chance that Roenicke’s selection, to borrow from a past Sox regime change, is keeping a light on for the return of Alex Cora as manager?
At the least, such a consideration was not part of the selection of Roenicke, according to chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. Roenicke was selected on his own merits rather than as a seat warmer.
“[The possibility of an eventual return by Cora] wasn’t really something we factored into the process,” said Bloom. “Obviously, we were pretty clear on the reasons we parted ways, and Alex was very clear to us on those reasons as we discussed them, and I think all those reasons are still in place even though we still think the world of Alex. Obviously, there’s a process for him to go through of rehabilitation in a sense. I still think he has a ton to offer to this game, but it wasn’t a consideration throughout this process.”
Cora parted ways with the Red Sox in mid-January after Major League Baseball released the results of its investigation into the sign-stealing practices of the 2017 Astros, for whom Cora was bench coach. While MLB suspended Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for the 2020 season (both were subsequently fired), Cora’s punishment was not determined by that investigation, pending the results of a separate investigation into reported sign-sequence-stealing by the 2018 Red Sox. During the four-week managerial search that followed the release of that report, curiosity has grown about whether Cora might eventually return to the Red Sox dugout.
Roenicke’s interim tag amplified that curiosity, though Bloom and GM Brian O’Halloran noted that the team would revisit the “permanency” of Roenicke’s appointment once MLB releases the findings of its investigation into the 2018 Red Sox.