BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox have a new skipper. The team has named Ron Roenicke as their interim manager.
The 63-year-old certainly has experience in his new role. Roenicke served as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011-15, and overall, has 20 years of big league coaching experience.
“Going forward, I understand the challenges that we’re going to have, as you always do as a manager,” Roenicke said during his introduction. “But the challenge of trying to win ballgames, and our focus is on a really good bunch of guys and a great team.
“Our focus is on trying to get back into the playoffs and see what happens after that,” he added. “Guys are not happy about last year. These guys are upset about what happened. I think that is a good thing going into this year.”
“Ron’s extensive coaching and managerial experience, in addition to his familiarity with our players and staff, make him an ideal fit as we prepare for the 2020 season,” Boston Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said in a release announcing the move. “He has the respect of everyone in the clubhouse, and the way he carries himself and communicates will be a positive influence on our entire organization. We are confident that Ron will hit the ground running, and we’re excited to work closely with him as he leads our group forward.”
Roenicke owns a 342-331 record as a manager in MLB, guiding the Brewers to records better than .500 in three of his four full seasons at the helm in Milwaukee. He made the playoffs just once during that time, though, losing the NLCS in six games to the eventual world-champion Cardinals. He was fired in 2015, after a 7-18 start.
Congrats to Interim Manager Ron Roenicke! pic.twitter.com/W8I89GRDdw
— Red Sox (@RedSox) February 11, 2020
With 28 years of managing experience, Roenicke has been a part of two World Series wins, having been the bench coach in Boston in 2018 and the third base coach in Anaheim in 2002. Roenicke returned to Anaheim as the third-base coach in 2016 and 2017, prior to getting the Boston bench coach job for 2018, a role he’s served for the last two years.
“The main thing that I think I do the best is to get the most out of players,” he said Tuesday. “It really doesn’t change much whether you’re a coach or a manager.”
While the “interim” tag is making some fans curious, Bloom explained it as the “best way to respect” the MLB investigation into the 2018 Red Sox, and whether or not that team used video equipment to steal signs during that season. Bloom made it sound like that tag will be removed when the investigation is over.
WATCH: Dan Roche On New Manager
“We have no reason to think that there is anything that would cause an adverse result for Ron in this investigation,” said Bloom. “We’re going to respect the ongoing investigation and we’ll address permanency once that’s complete.”
Though the hiring wasn’t official when they spoke with reporters on Tuesday, Red Sox players gave glowing reviews of Roenicke when asked about their new skipper.
“[He’s] amazing. Very intellectual guy, great mind with a love for the game.” outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said at the team’s spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. “He’s great.”
“He’s awesome,” added reliever Matt Barnes. “He knows the game incredibly well and it will be nice having a familiar face, someone who knows the guys and has been there.”
Boston was in need of a new manager after parting ways with Alex Cora on Jan. 14, after MLB’s investigation into the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal. Cora was not punished by MLB after their findings, which led to the firing of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, but an investigation was opened into the 2018 Red Sox.
Cora was in Boston for just two seasons, leading the Red Sox to a franchise-best 108 wins and a World Series title in 2018. But Boston stumbled to an 84-78 record in 2019 and missed the postseason, and Cora and the Red Sox agree to mutually part ways after MLB’s investigation into the 2017 Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal.
Roenicke is now the fifth Boston manager since 2010. Three of the team’s last four managers have won the World Series in their first season: Terry Francona in 2004, John Farrell in 2013 and Alex Cora in 2018.