June 26, 2024

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Red Sox president of baseball, Chaim Bloom, after 4 seasons: Who will fill the role and what’s next?

Red Sox president of baseball, Chaim Bloom, after 4 seasons: Who will fill the role and what’s next?

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox fired chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom on Thursday, an hour before the first of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, the team announced.

Under Bloom, who was hired prior to the 2020 season, the Red Sox have consistently underperformed at the big league level, missing the season two of the last three years. The 2021 season, in which the team reached the American League Championship Series, was the only one. Boston is on track to miss the playoffs again this season. Entering Thursday, the Red Sox were 73-72, 18 games behind the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles and 7 1/2 games out of the wild card with 17 games to play.

“While a breakup is not taken lightly, today signals a new direction for our club,” principal owner John Henry said in a statement. “Our organization has high expectations on the field, and while Chime’s efforts to revitalize our baseball infrastructure have helped pave the way for the future, today we will begin the search for new leadership.

“Everyone who knows Haim has a deep appreciation and respect for his character. His time with us will always be marked by his professionalism, integrity and unwavering respect for our club and its heritage.

Although Bloom helped rebuild the farm system from a top-10 system to a top-10 system, according to numerous publications, the fielding product at the major league level never reached its full potential. The defining move of Bloom’s tenure remains the February 2020 trade of Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move about which the team is still answering questions.

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The Bates trade, combined with the club’s downward trend with several bottom-place finishes, was a source of great frustration within the fanbase, resulting in lagging attendance numbers.

“We need to be competitive, we need to play for a postseason position, play meaningful games in September and play baseball in October,” CEO Sam Kennedy said in a meeting with reporters before the first game on Thursday. “This is a really painful day for a number of reasons, especially the personal side of it. There’s blame to go around. There’s blame to go around. There’s blame to me, our ownership. The on-field staff deserves the blame. I’m sure some players will say they didn’t perform up to expectations.”

“We all fell short of our collective goals. There’s a lot of blame to go around. It’s a really tough job. We felt we needed to make big changes in those two positions, and that’s what we did.”

In addition to Bloom’s firing, general manager Brian O’Halloran was offered a new leadership position in the baseball operations department, effectively ending his tenure as general manager. O’Halloran, who has been with the organization since 2002, has not yet accepted his new position.

The search for new leadership for baseball operations will begin immediately. In the meantime, day-to-day operations will continue under the direction of O’Halloran, if he stays on, and assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Raquel Ferreira and Michael Grubman.

Bloom and O’Halloran were informed of the decisions earlier Thursday morning, Kennedy said. Kennedy also noted as the search began that ownership had not determined whether there would be one or two employees or what the role structure or title would look like.

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Kennedy ruled out former Red Sox and Chicago Cubs GM Theo Epstein as a candidate for the job.

As for how the new front office appointment will impact the roles of the manager and coaches, Kennedy avoided specifics.

“There is a lot to improve on, and that includes our field staff,” Kennedy said. “So leadership of baseball operations will come with a mandate to run the department — all aspects of the department.”

When pressed further on whether he expects coach Alex Cora to return next season, Kennedy said: “I do, yes. I do. But again, today is about a change in the front office.”

Cora’s name has been floated as a potential GM candidate, but Kennedy would not discuss details.

“I will not talk about anything in terms of speculation with the candidates but we will start that process immediately,” he said.

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(Photo: Bob DiChiara/USA Today)