It’s no surprise that the Red Sox have had a tough start to the season so far.
On the field, the team was swept by the Yankees over the weekend thanks in part to a record-breaking performance by Aaron Judge. However, before the team even suited up for a season that has been shortened due to COVID-19 (and could reportedly be cancelled), the organization had a lot to deal with internally.
From a sign-stealing scandal that resulted in the departure of former manager Alex Cora, to all of professional sports being impacted by a global pandemic, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom — who joined the team in October — had a lot on his hands from the start. Then, the Sox traded superstar Mookie Betts to the Dodgers in February, leaving fans outraged and causing MLB experts to wonder whether the Red Sox could compete without him.
Looking back on it all months later, Bloom told ESPN’s Joon Lee that it has been a whirlwind:
Bloom opened up about a lot of the issues the team has dealt with, including what it was like to lose starter Chris Sale, who underwent Tommy John surgery in March.
Here’s what Bloom had to say about it all:
On Alex Cora’s departure: “It was shocking and really sad because I had so much respect for Alex and I still do, and I know how much people here love him and just highly and rightly that they think of him. It was obviously a huge shock to know that we are in a different world and we are going to be moving forward with that one, and it does change a lot of things. At the same time, no one person is all of an organization.”
On the Mookie Betts trade: “There wasn’t one defined path with him or with anybody that we needed to take. We looked at the situation, I think any team, no matter your market size, no matter your resources, if you don’t have a broad and deep talent base that is sustainable that you can replenish over time, regardless of your resources, it’s very difficult to compete year in and year out. You may peak, but then you have a wide valley. The young talent we got back combined with financial flexibility that we got in that trade, we just thought, again, looking at our larger goal of trying to win as much as we can over the five, 10 years, that it sets us up better to do that than if we hadn’t made the trade.”
On mega-contracts: “I do think this is a tough question to answer in the abstract. Every move you consider you need to consider the merits of that particular move and you need to make sure you have a good process for looking at that and assessing how it fits into where you are as an organization and your larger goals. I think it’s a difficult thing to talk about in the abstract because of that.”
On Chris Sale’s left elbow surgery: “When we found out that he had the setback in March, that was a very hard day. It’s not the first time in my career that I’ve experienced that where you get a call that one of your key pitchers has an arm injury, but Chris is elite, period, and a talent like that you can certainly try to backfill, but you can’t replace. To lose him for any period of time is obviously something that you can’t sugarcoat or talk about like it’s a good thing at all.”
On the effect COVID-19 has on the season and players: “This is an extremely disruptive event that is a lot bigger than us, people’s lives have been destroyed. So many people’s livelihoods have been destroyed and we get to do what we love. Yeah, it’s going to be different, but we’ve just got to embrace that difference, consider ourselves incredibly lucky that we get to put on the show, try to do the best we can and make sure we find ways to enjoy it.”