Chaim Bloom had nothing to say about Alex Cora on Sunday, which in effect said everything.
If you're holding out hope for the return of the manager who won it all two years ago, prepare to be disappointed. Because parsing Bloom's confusingly vague words on Cora sure made him sound like a chief baseball officer preparing to move in a different direction.
On Sunday, the Red Sox made the most obvious move of their offseason by announcing that manager Ron Roenicke won't return in 2021. The baseball lifer was dealt a putrid hand and did the best he could, but one side effect of being forced to ingest a steady diet of Zack Godley, Kyle Hart, and Mike Kickham is that you're inevitably going to be vomited out of the organization.
That means the prodigal son can return! Bring back Cora, hand him his confiscated keys, and get to work rebuilding that 2018 magic. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Except not so fast. Bloom addressed the elephant in the room on Sunday in a fashion that can best be described as hopping between hot coals.
"With respect to Alex -- and I know this is a question I got a couple times during the season and I think you guys know where I stand on Alex -- but I know I didn't get into very much detail about it during the season," Bloom said. "That was really out of respect to Ron. I thought that Ron deserved to be evaluated without anybody looking over his shoulder. So I know that's not the case anymore, but I still don't really want to get into any detail on my thoughts on Alex.
"I don't want to say anything about Alex that I haven't already said to Alex and obviously I haven't spoken to Alex. So there will be a time where I can get into more detail on Alex and his situation and my thoughts on it, but that time isn't now, so I'm hoping everybody will respect that."
Pressed on the question, Bloom reiterated what sounded to these ears like the key line: "I don't want to elaborate, because I don't want to be saying things about him that I haven't said to him."
There are two possibilities of what Bloom could say to Cora, who is technically suspended until the end of the World Series. One is that the Red Sox want him to be their manager again. The other is that they don't.
I'm betting on option B. If Bloom really wanted Cora, there are ways to make that clear to the former skipper behind the scenes. When Bloom says rather pointedly that there are things he hasn't yet said to Cora that he doesn't want to say publicly, the former manager should read that ominously.
It makes compete sense, by the way, that Bloom would like to start fresh. He inherited an entire front office, scouting, and coaching staff. He hasn't even been on the job a year, and now is typically the time when a new boss might start reshuffling the baseball operations ranks and filling openings with his own people.
There's no more important opening than manager -- and after reading the tea leaves, it certainly appears Bloom plans on wishing Alex Cora well and moving in a new direction.