Xander Bogaerts said interim manager Ron Roenicke was a huge influence both personally and in his baseball career.
The Red Sox fired Roenicke on Sunday, but the team’s star shortstop made it clear that Roenicke’s short stint as manager was a meaningful one.
“It was tough,” Bogaerts said on NESN. “Coming to the ballpark, no one expected that or anything like that. That’s the way stuff goes in life sometimes. It’s unexpected.”
Bogaerts said he knows Roenicke – who was the team’s bench coach before he became interim manager – has meant a lot to other players as well, especially with the success the Red Sox have had the past few years. He praised Roenicke for making the most of a difficult season.
“I feel like he was just the perfect guy for the situation,” Bogaerts said. “With this tough year, it was tough coming to the ballpark, especially losing a lot, and he just found a good way to communicate with us and try to make it feel good and important to come to the ballpark every day and show up and play. He’s definitely someone that we will miss.”
Bogaerts said he decided before Sunday’s 9-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves that if he hit a home run, he would go up to Roenicke and give him a big hug before going to the dugout to celebrate with his teammates. He didn’t get the chance, but he was able to fulfill the goal he had of trying to win the game for Roenicke.
Afterward, NESN host Tom Caron was quick to point out the gravity of Bogaerts’s remarks.
“That’s as emotional as I’ve ever seen Xander Bogaerts,” Caron said.
Get Boston.com's browser alerts:
Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser.Turn on notifications
Great, you’re signed up!
This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com