Leftover thoughts from a busy week at Fenway Park, which started with Trevor Story's surgery, ended with the introduction of Corey Kluber, and featured one whopper of a desperate Rafael Devers press conference in between. ...
- Bloom's impassioned plea to Red Sox fans to stick with the team would've been fine if he hadn't ended it with an over-the-top exhortation that, "it's going to be awesome!" It sounded like something from the leader of a pep rally, not the head of baseball operations.
There's no doubt this has been a rough year for Bloom. He blew the last season of the 2018 core by not adding enough to Xander Bogaerts and Co., he blew the trade deadline with half measures, and then he blew the offseason by losing as much talent as he has acquired.
It's enough to question if ownership remains confident in Bloom's leadership abilities, so I put the question to Tom Werner.
"You said what's my confidence?" he asked. "I think he's one of the finest general managers in baseball, or heads of baseball operations, I should say. He had a tough year last year. We all had a tough year. We had an excellent year the year before. I endorse and I'm excited about his long-term plan."
- Speaking of Werner, he dropped a couple of interesting nuggets about Fenway Sports Group. For one, he said there are no plans to sell the Red Sox. For another, he said FSG is not allowed to buy an NFL team.
"There are absolutely no plans," he said, in regards to selling the Red Sox. "People should know that not only are our brains into trying to fix the last-place finish, but our heart is with our fans. I'm 72, John (Henry) is 72. We have a desire to win many more World Series here. As long as we're healthy, we're going to be hopefully improving the stewardship of the Red Sox."
And as for the NFL, since at one point they were rumored to be long-shot bidders for the Washington Commanders?
"We're precluded from making an investment in the NFL because of our partnerships, our institutional investors," Werner said. "But our heart and soul is with the Red Sox."
Tomase: Kluber looks to prove there's plenty left in the tank
- It's not the most artful question I've ever asked, but I put it to manager Alex Cora on Wednesday anyway: How is this team going to be good?
With no Story, no Bogaerts, no Christian Vazquez, no J.D. Martinez, no Nathan Eovaldi, the Red Sox have suffered a serious talent drain. Their biggest selling point is their manager. So how he's going to do it?
"The way I put it, I always said, either good or bad, sometimes you've got to be more cocky than other years," he said. "Hey, we're going to show up, we're going to play. That's the way I see it. And I'm going to send the message from the top all the way to the bottom. We have a lot of work to do. But we can do it. We've done it before. We can do it again."
At least he won't have to worry about faking the whole, "no one believed in us" rallying cry that even the best teams employ.
- It's hard to believe now, but when Cora arrived at the University of Miami in the early 1990s, he didn't feel comfortable speaking English in interviews. So he understands why Devers, with a $331 million contract, may encounter some challenges as he becomes the face of the Red Sox. Devers understands questions in English, but still prefers answering through a translator.
"I mean, I was able to communicate," Cora said. "That's why I passed my SATs and had a good GPA. But it was tough for me to stand in front of people and speak the language. There's a shame factor, right? You don't want to mess up. And I think with (Devers), little by little, he's getting there."
Cora noted that Devers conducted a couple of interviews in English last year and compared him to a franchise icon who grew comfortable with his second language.
"I mean, the big boy, David (Ortiz), man, his English wasn't great early on, and now he's on national TV and doing commercials and doing all that stuff. So I don't know if he's going to grow into being David, but he's going to keep learning and keep growing. And I think the commitment speaks for itself. There's a guy that we want who is going to lead us."