Chaim Bloom’s Red Sox tenure was marred by one unforgivable crime, so now he’s gone – NBC Sports Boston
Chaim Bloom’s greatest sin as Red Sox chief baseball officer had nothing to do with the quality of his farm system, the rigor of his operations, or even the product he put on the field.
He was turning the noise into zzzzzzzzz.
To be fair, the transformation began long before his arrival, but it accelerated on his watch as a club that once dominated the news cycle became an afterthought and then became irrelevant.
The final straw for ownership may have come earlier this month, when former MVP Mookie Betts returned to Boston and received a hero’s welcome from not only appreciative Red Sox fans, but the sea of Dodger Blue that crashed over Fenway Park like endless crushers on the Cape . Alex Cora’s travel agency tried to promote the invasion as Dodgers fans made a cross-country pilgrimage to experience the grandeur and splendor of America’s most popular stadium, but he knew as well as the rest of us that the transplants simply gobbled up the tickets that the locals didn’t. Wants.
If that sight didn’t make the point clearly enough, John Henry and Co. certainly noticed not only the empty seats for what should have been a marquee September showdown with the Yankees, but also the fact that tickets were as low as a dollar on the secondary market. In some cases, sellers gave them away for free.
Bloom has sold ownership of his long-term vision of building a competitor from within that can compete year over year, but at some point, today has to matter, too. A ticking clock accompanies all rebuilding operations, especially those done in Boston. Today’s limitless patience is tomorrow’s email announcing that you’ve been relieved of your duties between games of a doubleheader, and Bloom’s failure to realize that results are needed to accompany his teasing declarations that what the Red Sox set out to do would be great.
So he was gone, the farm system in much better shape than he found it, but the big league roster separated from its purpose and drifting adrift. He oversaw the departures of key players like Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi and JD Martinez, replacing them with . . . Kiki Hernandez, whose idea of a cute, relatable story while being imposed on fans as a new face of the franchise, recounts the time he soiled himself in uniform. In every sense of the word possible, disgusting.
Bloom thought the fans would embrace the winner and nothing else would matter, but that’s not how things work in Boston. Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino routinely clashed over this concept, with Lucchino striving for stardom, while Epstein preferred to build from within. But the desire to stay local never stopped Epstein from making huge advances for the likes of Curt Schilling, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Some spots hit and some didn’t, but the Red Sox were always relevant.
By contrast, the Red Sox under Bloom lacked direction. I understand that ownership doubts accelerated near the trade deadline, when Bloom appeared close to multiple trades that would have sent veterans like James Paxton and perhaps even Justin Turner, with ownership’s blessing, but instead did nothing. And after the disastrous 2022 deadline left him in place, Bloom has raised doubts about his ability to complete a deal that goes to the top. His exit was only a matter of time.
Now the Red Sox begin the search again. This has become a ritual for them every four years, a fact that has undoubtedly caught the attention of every potential candidate in baseball. Coupled with Epstein’s acrimonious departure, it’s fair to say that the Red Sox are not viewed as a model of stability.
However, hopefully they will interview more than one candidate this time, and they may have great success, as they did with Epstein, Ben Cherington, and Dave Dombrowski. Each won World Series titles, but they also understood what made the Red Sox fit, and it wasn’t the classification of their farm system.
They put winners on the field, their butts in the seats, numbers on NESN, and T-shirts on the backs of their fans with names like Martinez, Ortiz, Pedroia, Pickett, Bogaerts, and Betts. They didn’t tell us their last-place streak would be remarkable in the face of all the contrary evidence, they didn’t get booed at their fan fest, and they sure as hell didn’t turn Fenway into an opposition paradise.
Bloom did all of these things, which is why it’s not his job anymore.
(Tags for translation) Chaim Bloom (R.) John Tomasi