The Boston Red Sox are floundering. Like a fish out of water, this once formidable and championship-winning American League franchise has seemingly lost its way. The top man in the operation usually has to answer for that.
So is it the Boston Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom’s responsibility for the demise or does it reside elsewhere?
The other key potentially responsible party is the team’s absentee ownership, The Fenway Sports Group (FSG). Now, this is a big-time sports conglomerate that owns both the Boston Red Sox and the equally storied Liverpool Reds. (They must like the color!)
So, is it Bloom to blame for the pitiable state of affairs of the Boston Red Sox, or … is the vaunted and very well-heeled ownership of this formerly great baseball club?
Let’s take a look, and allocate responsibility accordingly.
The Boston Red Sox Ownership is not very visible
One method of not being held accountable for your actions (or in this case non-action), is not to be seen. The Fenway Sports Group (FSG) seems to like that situation wherein it concerns the Boston Red Sox. Where are they?
Well, publicly, they’re not visible. But rest assured Red Sox Nation, they will make their annual appearance in the sun in Florida, in Panama hats less, during spring training to put their very professionally coached, PR spin on the dreadful state of Red Sox Nation.
All will be well as the new season approaches before the dreadful offseason decision-making and ownership penny-pinching deliver another terrible product on the field for the ever-faithful and ever-munificent Red Sox Nation.
Since booting the very successful Dave Dombrowski to the curb after one down season following three successive AL East winning ones and a World Series win to boot, the FSG has had Chaim Bloom as their Chief Baseball Officer.
How has that gone? Ostensibly, as a cost-cutting and so-called “sustainability” move, Bloom was brought to Beantown from small-market Tampa Bay to “right the ship”.
Boston Red Sox foolishly canned Dave Dombrowski
Unfortunately, there was not much about the ship that needed righting. Dombrowski had done a fabulous job. In fact, he’d done all any competent owner could have hoped for.
He had delivered three successive AL East tiles, the first time in team history no less. And then to top it all off, he’d won the World Series in his third season in 2018. What’s not to like?
Well, then, less than a calendar year after that World Series win, the team had a down year and that gave the FSG the perfect opportunity to kick Dombrowski to the curb and bring in an economizer, Chaim Bloom. So much for loyalty.
The ostensible goal: do more with less, still win, and continue to bring home the big bucks. That was the theory. The reality has been much different.
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The big bucks have certainly continued to flow in. You have the ballpark, the ambiance, and all that good stuff. And, on cue, Red Sox Nation, like lemmings, have continued to file into Fenway Park, buy $7 or so hot dogs and $10+ beers and enjoy the experience of actually being in that storied edifice, the Home of Champions (or former ones, at least.)
The problem is, under the new baseball chief, the bloom has come off the rose. The team has floundered and for two of the past three years has been consigned to the bottom of the Al East. That’s behind the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bloom bottomed out in his first season, 2020 but rebounded in 2021. With several really astute moves, he brought in Kike Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe and then traded at the deadline for a slugger, Kyle Schwarber. The result was a trip to the ALCS and two games away from another World Series berth. It was brilliant.
Since then, however, Bloom undid the magic of 2021 by trading Renfroe, and not re-signing Schwarber. Now, he continues to pay big bucks for over-the-hill (or close to) players whose salaries, when added together, would finance a really good or great player or two.
It’s a flawed strategy, a losing strategy. And if the Boston Red Sox bottom out again in 2023 (three out of four last-place finishes), they will have reversed the brilliance of Dave Dombrowski, when all you could say about him was, that he won.
Congratulations FSG, you’ve done it again. Flopped. Now, all Red Sox Nation, in its loyalty to our team can ask for, is that this floppy ownership now please sell the team, make billions, and let someone who actually cares about the team manage it. It’s the least you can do.
Or, conversely, act like a big-market ownership and spend to win. It’s your choice.