Chaim Bloom spoke on Zoom for a little over 20 minutes on Wednesday, and most of what he had to say was expected: yes, he's disappointed in the team's performance, yes, the pitching is worse than he expected, no, he doesn't hold any of this against manager Ron Roenicke.
But tucked within that press conference was an answer that shed light on what kind of rebuild Red Sox fans should expect. And refreshingly, depending on your perspective and reservoirs of patience, the answer is it won't be quick.
"I don't think it's wise for us to put timetables on those things," Bloom said. "I think if we are doing the right things, sometimes timetables can accelerate. It's hard to foresee that. A lot of the time, when you start to get cute and try to sync those things up and think you can predict the timetable exactly, you end up doing things that are counter to what your objectives were in the first place.
"You have to keep the big picture in mind. If that's behind everything we do, we might find that things come together more quickly than people might expect. I wouldn't try to put a timetable on that. I think we have to make sure we're assessing our options and potential moves in light of what we're trying to accomplish overall."
When Bloom speaks of the big picture and long-term objectives, he sure sounds like someone who won't, say, make a splash for an outfielder like Carl Crawford, or trade four prospects for a closer like Craig Kimbrel, or sign a pair free agents like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez just because they're there. That patchwork approach to remaining competitive seduced predecessors Theo Epstein, Dave Dombrowski, and Ben Cherington to varying degrees, respectively, but Bloom was brought in to build, not to grasp at slim playoff possibilities.
With the Red Sox plummeting to the worst record in the American League only two years after winning a franchise-record 108 games, it's clear that Bloom has a big job ahead of him. In the past, ownership has responded to poor campaigns by authorizing big splashes to remain relevant, even at the expense of long-term success. Bloom sounds much more interested in the long game.
That's what made his answer about how much money he expects he'll have to spend this winter similarly illuminating.
"It's not something we've discussed specifically," he said. "There are so many other things we're prioritizing right now. But this organization over time, and I've certainly seen it up close, has always committed great resources to baseball operations in the pursuit of winning. I have no reason to think that's going to change."
The Red Sox aren't talking about budgets because they recognize there's no point in targeting high-profile free agents this winter. Those are the kind of moves a team makes when it's on the cusp of contention.
These Red Sox are a long way from that, and it sounds like Bloom knows it.