BOSTON – It was “Welcome To Boston, Lesson No. 3,489” for Red Sox rookie Chaim Bloom.
There were more people at Wednesday’s Red Sox press conference to announce that Alex Cora wouldn’t be returning than were at some of the Tampa Bay Rays games he attended the last decade.
From afar, Bloom has looked like anything but another Ivy League savior as the new head of baseball operations for the Red Sox.
From afar, he has done nothing.
Here we are, less than a month removed (Feb. 12) from pitchers and catchers convening in Fort Myers, yet other than some balloon arbitration awards (see Jackie Bradley Jr.’s $11 million for 2020), there have been no trades, no releases, no free agent inquires and, most of all, no Mookie Betts update.
So what has Bloom been doing over the last 2½ months?
Well, the Red Sox have a lot of employees in the baseball ops department, including scouts.
While the art of “scouting” doesn’t make good headlines, it’s a big reason Bloom got one of the most pressure-packed gigs in pro sports.
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stood up for his underling, saying that the way Bloom has interacted with people in the organization is a thing of art.
“His organizational skills are special,” said Kennedy. “The way he handled the winter meetings, the general manager meetings … were great. He’s got a good understanding of our culture and is in this for the long haul.”
Wednesday’s press conference was a strange one. Instead of being angry, like their fan base, Red Sox ownership and upper management seemed more concerned with their reputation and Cora.
Owner John Henry requested that fans wait until the MLB’s investigation on the Red Sox is complete before passing judgment.
But Cora made his own bed and, when the commissioner issued an ultimatum that video sign-stealing will be treated like a mortal sin, he gambled.
Bloom came off clean, and deservedly so.
But Cora’s banishment creates more work for Bloom, taking him away from important issues confronting the 2020 Red Sox, including the pitching rotation, bullpen, Dustin Pedroia’s future and, of course, the status of Betts.
No games have been played, not even close, and Bloom is already getting a feel for life here in Boston.
Win soon. Build the farm system. And beat the Yankees ... Or leave.
Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy. And remember, this isn’t Tampa.
You can email Bill Burt at email@example.com.