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Ron Roenicke will not return as manager in 2021

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As expected, but the timing is a bit of surprise.

Washington Nationals v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Red Sox have not yet played their final game of the 2020 season as of this writing, but they have already started to make decisions for the 2021 club. We all knew the first move was going to be their decision regarding the manager for next season. They did not wait until the end of the season to announce their intention. Ron Roenicke will indeed not be back in 2021, and their search for a new manager will begin immediately.

This is not much of a surprise, though the timing is a bit surprising. I’ll get to that in a second, but to start with the decision itself it was pretty clear from the beginning that this was a one-year thing. I believed that to be true when he was first named manager at the start of spring training, assuming that they wanted to be able to do a full, real search in a full offseason. That was not available coming into this year given how late the Alex Cora decision was made. The team’s performance, although certainly not Roenicke’s fault, didn’t help his cause.

As for the timing, it is undeniably awkward. Roenicke will manage this final game, but it’s a bit surprising the announcement didn’t come either tonight or tomorrow morning. To make it more awkward, he was supposed to have a Zoom call with the media at 1:00, and the announcement came shortly after it was supposed to start. The call ended up being canceled. My speculation is that they wanted to get it done so Roenicke could go right home to see his family, who he has been away from all season, after the game. Even so, though, they could have done this after.

We’ll have more later on the possible names to watch for in the search process, which will begin immediately, but we all know the number one name who will be thrown out: Alex Cora. Get ready for a whole lot of speculation in that direction until a final decision is made.

The team released a statement on the decision to part ways with Roenicke, shown below from Pete Abraham.