Red Sox

McAdam: Was the return of Alex Cora really Chaim Bloom’s decision?

(Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox via Getty Images)

The day after the nightmarish 2020 Red Sox season mercifully ended, three Red Sox executives -- general manager Brian O'Halloran, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and team president/CEO Sam Kennedy -- participated in a Zoom call with reporters.

The day before, the Red Sox had made official what had seemed obvious for some time: manager Ron Roenicke would not be returning in 2021, meaning the Red Sox offseason was beginning with the team in search of his replacement.

That, naturally, begged the question: who would make the decision on hiring the next Red Sox manager?

"I just want to be very clear that Chaim and his team will run the process and ultimately make the decision on who the next manager of the Boston Red Sox will be," said Kennedy. ""Hopefully we do a good job of putting the right people in the right places to make those decisions and trust and empower them to make those decisions. When it comes to the managerial selection for the Boston Red Sox, that rests squarely with our baseball operation and ultimately with Chaim Bloom."

Kennedy later added, as a caveat, that ownership would ultimately have to sign off on Bloom's choice -- a reasonable enough expectation and the case with nearly every other MLB franchise. After all, moves as consequential as hiring a manger to a multi-year deal are typically vetted by those signing the checks.

But tellingly, it became commonly known that Alex Cora was the clear choice of Kennedy, majority owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner. Even as they mutually agreed to part ways with him last January and determined he couldn't remain on the job, the three gushed with praise toward Cora. They made it abundantly clear that while his departure was necessary, it was also regrettable.

Less clear was whom Bloom favored. At the time, he carefully avoided saying anything specific about Cora, in part because the former manager was still ineligible for any position in the game, and in part because Bloom had not talked to him.

The club then