Red Sox

How Red Sox will approach hiring a new manager in 2020, per Chaim Bloom

How Red Sox will approach hiring a new manager in 2020, per Chaim Bloom

It's still unclear how severely Major League Baseball will punish Alex Cora after he and the Boston Red Sox mutually agreed to part ways Tuesday.

What's more clear is that the Red Sox need a new manager, and fast.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom didn't set a timetable for Boston's managerial search but said Wednesday the team wants to hire a new manager "as soon as possible."

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"There's no question it's an unusual time to be doing a managerial search," Bloom told reporters in a press conference at Fenway Park. "Being this close to spring training, it's impossible for that not to be a factor in how we proceed. But it's not going to be the only factor, and we want to make sure we do this justice.

The Red Sox can go any number of directions: Promote an assistant coach to interim manager while they look for a full-time candidate, hire an in-house candidate as their new manager or bring in new blood from outside the organization.

According to Bloom, all three options are on the table.

"We haven't ruled anything in or out," Bloom said. "I think part of this process has been assessing the best course."

When asked specifically if the Red Sox would hire an internal candidate -- bench coach Ron Roenicke, special assistant Jason Varitek and second baseman Dustin Pedroia have been floated as potential options -- Bloom suggested multiple coaches could be in the running.

"We have a lot of regard for our coaches," Bloom said. "It’s an impressive group and no reason to think that a number of them wouldn’t deserve consideration for this."

It's a tricky spot for Bloom, who will have to replace a highly successful manager just months into his job in Boston. The Red Sox seem open to hiring any type of candidate to replace Cora -- assuming that candidate meets one criterion.

"I think it's really important in order to have success in that chair for someone to be authentic and be themselves," Bloom said. "I think that's a challenge whenever you're following someone who's had success. You want to make sure you're aware of some of the things that made them successful. But you need to be you. You can't copy someone else. That's not going to work.

" ... We have to make sure our next manager is authentic and is going to do what is going to make that person most successful."

Bloom and the Red Sox also have to make sure they find that "authentic" candidate soon: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than a month (Feb. 11).

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers admits he still experiences anxiety before games

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers admits he still experiences anxiety before games

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers doesn't always have the easiest time preparing for games. 

After a breakout season in 2019 (.311, 32 homers, 115 RBI, .916 OPS), the 23-year-old has turned into one of Boston's best at the plate, but that doesn't mean he doesn't experience anxiety. 

The Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato sat down with Devers for an interview before the MLB postponed its season due to the coronavirus, and Devers indicated that he still feels a rush before games begin.

“The hardest thing I still go through is every game I still get this anxiousness of the game starting," Devers said, according to Mastrodonato. "It’s this happiness of being out there and being on the field and playing and getting over that anxiety. I’m just over-emotional about the opportunity and being out there playing.

“Because it’s not like a nervous thing, it’s more of an excited thing. That first inning is a big rush. But after that first inning settles, I get an at-bat and it’s like, alright, the game kind of settles. It’s just me being overly emotional about how happy I am.”

“It’s something I’ve been working on since I’ve been here. I’ve been working with previous people in the organization that led me to some of my breathing techniques that I do now. But it’s all about controlling myself. I know it. It’s still there and I’m still working on it. But I have gotten much better at it.”

Of course, you can tell that Devers can't wait to take the field -- he lights up like a kid on Christmas -- but you'd never know truly how emotional he gets. 

In three seasons with the Red Sox, Devers has hit .282 with 211 RBI, 63 home runs and a 5.8 WAR. Based on his 2019 stats, those pregame jitters must've been a little easier to deal with last season. 

Whatever's in store for the Red Sox in 2020, and whenever the baseball season begins, we should expect some big things from Devers in his fourth season.

Why was Red Sox great Bill Buckner trending on Twitter Friday night?

Why was Red Sox great Bill Buckner trending on Twitter Friday night?

R.I.P. Bill Buckner. Ten months later.

Why was the former Red Sox first baseman, who died on May 27, 2019, trending on Twitter Friday night?

It can apparently be traced to New York Times political writer Maggie Haberman on Friday afternoon tweeting a link to Buckner's obit from ESPN.com from the day he died of complications from Lewy body dementia at 69.

Haberman has 1.2 million Twitter followers and it appears some of them thought this was new news.

Former Boston Globe columnist and current MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle tweeted a Buckner tribute a few hours after Haberman's tweet. 

R.I.P Bill Bucker tweets followed well into Friday night, along with plenty informing the tweeter that Buckner had passed away months earlier. 

Haberman appeared to acknowledge her odd timing in a follow-up tweet.

No matter. As Barnicle points out, Buckner ought not to be remembered for the error that was the first line in his obit, but as a terrific hitter (2,715 hits, .289 career batting average, National League-leading .324 in 1980) in a 22-year major league career with five teams (Dodgers, Cubs, two stints with the Red Sox, Angels and Royals). 

And really, anytime is a good time to look back at that.