Let's get one thing straight-- Chaim Bloom did not do a very good job as chairman of the Boston Red Sox. At first glance, the news that the organization fired him today is not a shock. He did not get a good return for Mookie Betts. The pitching staff he was supposed to rebuild starting in 2019 is still brutally terrible. The Sox have not developed any quality talent that can help win games at the big-league level in four years. The lowest levels of the farm system look encouraging after the last few drafts but Bloom was not able to toe the very thin line of building up the prospect base while remaining competitive in the majors. It is very difficult to keep one's job in a place like Boston when the team is out of postseason contention by September for two years in a row without any obvious catastrophe to point to as the reason why.
But Bloom is just a scapegoat. His entire tenure was built on the sham that the Red Sox could not afford to pay Betts what he's worth. And the fact that he was fired now instead of after the season concluded only goes to further highlight how pathetic the John Henry-led ownership group is.
Bloom was hired in 2019 and was immediately given the unenviable, nonnegotiable job of trading Mookie Betts. Fenway Sports Group owns the Red Sox along with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Liverpool Football Club. They could obviously afford to pay Betts. They just did not want to. No matter what spins you might hear from certain media properties in Boston that may also be owned by John Henry. I've spilled plenty of digital ink describing in detail how disgusting that decision was so I won't belay the point here. But for that to be the first move of Bloom's tenure... it sets a certain tone for the future. One where turning a profit is more important than fielding a competitive team.
He was tasked by ownership to turn the Red Sox into Tampa Bay Northeast-- a perennial contender built on the backs of young, cheap talent that hasn't hit arbitration yet. It is not only very difficult to do that, it's also shameful. The billionaires and groups of billionaires who own these teams have a responsibility to the fans to put their best foot forward, not just make sure they're in the black when tax season rolls around. Any team owner who is "economical" doesn't actually care about the team. But to try to turn the Red Sox into one of those teams under the directive of ownership? To leave resources unused in one of the country's most passionate baseball markets? To leave wins on the table, to send superstars out of town, to save a few dollars? Shameful.
It's the basis of all Bloom's decision-making other than paying Rafael Devers, which should not be lauded as smart because it was a no-brainer of the highest order. They didn't want to add more effective arms to the rotation because Chris Sale was making so much money. They let Xander Bogaerts walk, which hasn't been a horrible decision, but not before they low-balled the hell out of him before he left. Which was a horrible decision. You're the Boston Red Sox and you're going to lowball a homegrown talent/beloved locker room leader to an insulting degree? For the second time? Shameful.
And then to fire Bloom before the 2023 season is even over. Why would they do that? Why not wait? It sure seems like they'd do so because they got upset about how critical everyone was being of the Red Sox. They felt like they had to do something to show everyone change is afoot. To give the illusion that they agree with the fans, that this is unacceptable-- when in reality they're just mad their master plan of turning a buck while keeping everyone happy failed.
That's why Bloom was fired. He couldn't line ownership's pockets while fielding a competitive team. Which, in fairness, is the job of pretty much any GM has across any sport. But most owners aren't as transparent about it as these Red Sox have become in the last few years. Most owners aren't so arrogant as to refuse to pay a guaranteed Hall of Fame talent drafted and developed by their organization and openly expect everyone to be fine with it while still winning games at the same clip.
Maybe he would have brought another World Series to Boston if he was given a blank check. Maybe he would have crashed and burned even harder. We have no way of knowing and that's why this isn't really about Bloom. It's about John Henry and his minions wanting to make as much money as possible while still acting sensitive when the backlash comes.