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Music To My Ears

Prayers really can be answered!

Boston Red Sox Spring Training 2023 Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Where were you when it happened?

I was grabbing a quick bite when Alexa flashed the news at me. It happened so quickly that I wasn’t sure I’d read it right, so I specifically made a request for Red Sox news. She stated that Chaim Bloom had been fired but simultaneously gave me this visual, wherein she thought the Red Sox President was Tom Yawkey. As we all know, he’s been deceased since 1976 and even his family trust hasn’t been involved with the Sox in over two decades.

Screenshot of Alexa device stating that Tom Yawkey is Red Sox president.

So much for AI.

I spent some frantic moments trying to get reliable news… and then I was in heaven.

Should I go on a bender or run a marathon? I honestly don’t know. If I knew an Irish jig, I’d dance one.

Is it terrible that I’m singing happy breakup songs in my head? That I’m seeing skinny legs in striped socks drying and curling up at the toes while retracting under a house?

I’m trying not to read too much into any potential metaphorical details related to the firing, on a beautiful fall day the night after rainout. I was trying not to love too much that the Sox delivered a shiny 5-0 victory over the Yankees (the Yankees!) after that announcement. Small sample size, after all. But it sure felt like a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It sure felt like the skies cleared. I can see in Technicolor again instead of black-and-white. We’re living in a glorious metaphor today.

“We’re here to win,” CEO Sam Kennedy said, and that’s something I haven’t heard in what seems like forever.

Music to my ears.

It was gracious of Kennedy not to pin all the Sox failures on Bloom alone, and also true that he wasn’t solely responsible.

“We all fell short of our collective goal. So there’s a lot of blame to go around.” Sam Kennedy

As much as I disagreed with most of what Bloom did, this is a team after all. A team handcuffed in many ways by Bloom’s bonkers roster construction, but still a team.

“We need to be competitive, we need to be playing for a postseason spot, playing meaningful games in September and playing baseball in October.” Sam Kennedy

Yes, please, let’s aim high! We haven’t done that in so long. My major philosophical difference with Bloom was that he never seemed to have high expectations. He never reached, or yearned, or hoped – nor did he seem to want to. Everything was about plodding along, never being quite good enough – and seeming to feel just fine about that. He kept telling us to be fine about that. Well, I never was.

He was maddeningly predictable with his thrift-store, scrap-heap thinking. That might occasionally be one facet of solid roster construction, but shouldn’t be the whole playbook. He rarely took a risk and subsequently never seemed to have skin in the game. He didn’t get enough of a return for Mookie. He did a fairly good job with the farm system, but took a strangely one-sided approach to it: he loved to add to it, but he almost never utilized minor league strengths to build up the major league club (which is, after all, the whole point).

I’ll be the first to say that my eventual cynicism over Bloom may have made me immune to some of his better qualities. (There, I said it – though I’m not even sure what those might be.) But I can’t say that I saw his allegedly brilliant, Yale-educated baseball mind at work. I saw stubbornness, doubling down, and insensitivity, at least in his public comments. He had a real love for rhetoric and trying to convince us of his goals in a “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” kind of way. He informed us that we were “underdogs” at the trade deadline, to get us on board with this stand-still philosophy, and that felt so wrong. He tapdanced when it came to the “conversations” had around Matt Dermody’s homophobic social media presence and why he was called up anyway to the big leagues. Bloom wasn’t one for pivoting, or making concessions, or initiating a course correction.

“We like where the arrow is pointing.” Chaim Bloom at trade deadline.

We do?! We most certainly never did.

Does he even like baseball? I’m not sure, and I never saw that come through, either. If I heard that he moved on to become a stock broker, trading futures instead of ballplayers, I wouldn’t be surprised. No one could ever think that about Theo Epstein, Dave Dombrowski, or Andrew Friedman.

“Today signals a new direction.” Sam Kennedy

I’m not a religious person but: amen!

As for replacements? Theo was seen on the T the other day, just sayin’. (No, I don’t think he’d consider this job. Been there, done that, after all. But really, anything feels possible today.) Some names have been floated already and maybe some of them are even reasonable possibilities. I do know that I want our new direction to contain some excitement and love for the game to go along with the spreadsheets and data. What about Raquel Ferreira, who’s already been a part of the Red Sox organization for years?

“Well, who’s next?” Selena Gomez, Single Soon

And reader: I slept like a baby last night.