The Boston Red Sox announced Sunday that Ron Roenicke would not return as the team’s manager for the 2021 season, with a search for a new skipper beginning immediately.
Roenicke took over as interim manager in February following the abrupt parting of ways with Alex Cora during the fallout from the Astros sign-stealing investigation. The team removed the interim label from Roenicke’s title after Major League Baseball cleared him of any wrongdoing in Boston’s own sign-stealing investigation in April.
“Throughout this difficult season, Ron’s consistency and professionalism kept the environment in our clubhouse productive and gave all of our players room to grow and develop,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a news release. “While we believe that, moving forward, we will benefit from new leadership and new energy, that does not diminish how strongly we feel about Ron. He is a man of the highest character who cares about our players and the Red Sox organization.”
The 2020 season marked Roenicke’s third with the Red Sox; he spent the first two as Cora’s bench coach. In his only season as Red Sox manager, the team found itself with a 23-36 (.390) record with a last-place finish in the American League East. This was Roenicke’s second stint as a big league manager, spending 2011-2014 and part of the 2015 season leading the Milwaukee Brewers, with an overall managerial record of 365-367 (.499).
Roenicke, 64, stated a desire to return for the 2021 season but appeared at peace with any decision the team made regarding his job status.
“It really hasn’t been unsettling,” Roenicke said Saturday. “If I was just starting out as a young manager, I guess it would be a little unsettling. I’m sure it would be. But I think because of all the things that I’ve been through, I realize there’s a process and, and I realize there’s timing differences the way different organizations do things.”
The departure of Roenicke from Boston allows Bloom, hired last offseason, to choose his own manager.
The decision to let Roenicke go immediately sparked speculation online that the team could rehire Cora as manager, but Bloom previously stated on WEEI in May that bringing back the popular former skipper was “not on our radar.”
Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy had seemed more open to the idea for a reunion when asked about bringing Cora back.
“We’ll talk about that down the road,” Kennedy said on WEEI in April.