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Started from the top now we’re here

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Words matter.

MLB: Boston Red Sox-Press Conference
Better times.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

On the same day the Red Sox won their first game in ten tries, Chaim Bloom all but came out and said Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts wouldn’t be traded in the purge that will accompany and follow this nightmare season. Per Alex Speier, Bloom said:

“Those guys are core players for us. They’re incredibly important to our future, just as they’ve been important here for a while. Philosophically, I don’t like to think in terms of absolute no’s, but those guys are key players for us. We’re very hopeful that they’re going to be part of our next championship here.”

I believe him this time, for now. I say “this time” because whatever Bloom’s intellectual role in trading Mookie Betts — we know that the order likely came as a condition of his employment — he’s the one who said, in so many words, if you can go get Alex Verdugo you go and do it. You’ll forgive me for going the trust-but-verify route with this one, I hope.

Insofar as we can trust that statement, it’s good to finally know where we are. When Sam Kennedy, who has yet to find a problem he can’t make worse in front of a microphone, said basically everyone was on the table during this disaster of a year, we had no choice to believe him. That Bloom walked back the comment shows how deeply the Betts trade has scarred us; we have fallen so far since 2018 we can only assume the bottom is further down. If the future of the Red Sox is Bogaerts, Devers, Verdugo and prospects, we have something onto which to hold, however slippery. You could even throw Bloom on that list. I’m a fan enough of his draft and non-Mookie player moves, even with this disaster of a makeshift pitching staff, to be optimistic about the medium and long hauls.

Kennedy is another story. A high-level functionary who has risen to become team president, he lives with his loafer in his mouth. See the time he used the Betts trade aftermath to try and sell tickets, or had to apologize for these idiotic 7:30 starts, or just now, said basically all players on the were available, when they’re not. The latter, once it was on the public record, triggered the Actually crowd into saying Actually the Sox just had to see what was available for Bogaerts, because that’s how things are done — never mind that they don’t, and they’re not.

Would it be too much to ask the Red Sox to have someone else in the role? The purge of players is inevitable. We are not going to be stuck with the Zack Godleys of the world forever. The Sox have no loyalty to them. The inverse is true of Kennedy, to who whom the Sox have loyalty, and with whom we are stuck despite a rapidly expanding list of missteps that seems destined to get longer.

Perhaps Kennedy’s time in the purely figurative sun can be chalked up to Bloom’s age, and Kennedy sees his mouthpiece days as temporary until the newest boy wonder comes of age. If this is so, let it happen now. We’re not seeking full transparency, because that’s never going to happen, just someone who knows how to talk around it without being insulting or misleading. Bloom has shown, this year, that he can do this. Kennedy has shown he can’t, or does not care to do so.

Here’s the thing I know for sure: on some timeframe, this whole teardown is going to work, to some degree. There is too much money and too many brains behind it not to. Here’s what I suspect: when it does, it’ll be used as evidence that we, the fans up in arms, were unreasonable, and the adults, like Kennedy, made sense. You can rest assured that it’ll be revisionist history — it’s not just the injury that hurts here, but the continued, and continuing, insult. Bloom seems to understand, as does John Henry, which is why the latter has sent Kennedy out there to earn the opprobrium of bloggers like myself and even writers who, like, matter. I will give him this: he sure has earned it. Of that, there is no doubt.