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Chaim Bloom: A New Dawn For The Red Sox

With about 300 days in post, it has been an almighty introduction to a chaotic time for Red Sox exec Chaim Bloom. Here we see what he has to offer.Chaim Bloom: A New Dawn For The Red Sox

In October 2019 news emerged from the Red Sox camp that they had hired Chaim Bloom, a 36-year-old Yale-bred exec, as the new head of baseball operations. As of today, as we close in on the last quarter of the year, Bloom has been in post for nearly 10 months. Therefore, it is time to assess all we know about Bloom and consider all we have seen.

What we know

Bloom graduated from Yale in 2005, alongside Theo Epstein who constructed the 2004 and 2007 World Series teams for the Sox. So, it proves who you know really matters inside baseball, as anywhere. However, we also know that Bloom’s CV led him to his current post. He spent 15 years with the Tampa Bay Rays, hired in 2004 as an intern he rose up the ranks to be senior vice president of baseball operations. He held posts in every area of baseball operations, making him qualified to take on the role at the Sox - but his legacy at the Rays will likely bring with him their analytically driven approach to team-building.

Bloom is serious about his religion. He practices Judaism and his devout practice comes before his duties to baseball, proven when he missed the Rays’ win against the Yankees to make the play-offs. He also places his family way above the game and for many these unflinching values makes Bloom the man he is. 

Despite his family and religion taking precedence, Bloom is highly regarded by all in the world of baseball and most believe that the Red Sox lucked out big time when they landed this name.

The time Bloom has had

So, when Chaim Bloom stepped up to be the chief baseball officer at the Boston Red Sox, he didn’t expect the rejuvenation of the side to be easy. However, no one could have predicted the 2020 that Bloom has had to contend with. 

In the nine or ten months, Bloom has been faced with investigations into sign-stealing, the loss of the manager and popular players and… oh yes… a once in one hundred years global pandemic. 

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So, Alex Cora was dismissed for his part in the cheating scandal. Then, after a lot of rumours, Mookie Bettes left, alongside David Price, traded to the LA Dodgers. Then, a pandemic, which means the reduction in games to just 60 for a season - crammed into a crazy schedule - with teams forced into quarantine due to positive test results. It would be enough to turn most men grey with worry.

Let’s look at some of these issues in some detail.

The loss of manager Alex Cora

Cora managed the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2018 and was widely regarded as the reason the egos could be managed in the dressing room. He bridged the divide between the front office and the players with some skilful communication. But, then Cora was implicated in the MLB sign-stealing investigation and Bloom felt he had no choice but to protect the franchise and preemptively part ways with Cora.

The prompt response goes to prove the integrity of Bloom. He acted before the implications of the investigation could stain the Sox’s reputation.

Trading Mookie Betts and David Price

So you decide that you are going to trade the most loved player. Fans and team-mates alike are in awe of the influence of Betts. The possibility of the trade was hinted at for months and still it came as a huge shock to the franchise. The decision was good business. The Red Sox had a lot of money tied up in players and Betts had made it clear he was going to test free agency in the winter. Therefore, when interest was shown in Betts, Bloom made the deal. 

While no player is bigger than the team, it was a bold move by Bloom but one that secured financial security for the Sox - and so the head of ops responded to the requirements of the owners to sell and avoid tax penalties.

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Granted the deal was in no way straightforward, especially when Minnessota backed out of the three way deal and went direct to the Dodgers. Yet, despite rising fan backlash, Bloom managed to construct a new deal. However, the fan;s unhappiness was only heightened when the Dodgers signed a mega-extension deal with Betts, something the Sox fans had wanted their leadership to do all along.

Hiring Ron Roenicke as manager

Bloom cut it fine with his managerial choice, delivering interim manager Roenicke one day before the pitchers and catchers reported to Florida. He was chosen because he was known as someone with an all round ability to evaluate the player - not just on the triangle - but off the field too. This seems to match the ethos of Bloom and his reputation for valuing integrity.

Then, the pandemic

With the season delayed, shortened and now struggling to get going, Bloom has acknowledged that 2020 is going to be a strange season. However, he notes that the pandemic is a lot bigger than everyone, and that people’s lives have been destroyed. He again showed the bright light of integrity when he noted how lucky he considered the Sox, who had a chance to put on a show to help distract people from the serious situation.

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