Ron Roenicke will be the interim manager of the Boston Red Sox. The team announced his promotion on Tuesday and by doing it missed a huge opportunity. Jason Varitek would have been the perfect choice and could have been the team's chance to get a public relations win after trading away Mookie Betts.
Roenicke was the bench coach for the Red Sox under Alex Cora from 2018 through last season. He helped Boston win the 2018 World Series and has been a major league coach in some form for most of the last 20 years. He spent five years as the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 through the beginning of the 2015 season and posted a 342-331 record (.508).
The 63-year-old is a respected old-school coach who will likely be fine as an interim guy. The problem for the Red Sox is that his hiring won't take any of the sting out of recent events. This seems like a throwaway hiring.
Betts is gone and the Red Sox are trying to cut payroll after years of having one of Major League Baseball's most bloated payrolls. They dumped both Betts and some of David Price's salaries on the Los Angeles Dodgers, but they still owe a ton of money to J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale and others. The changes likely aren't done.
With a tough offseason and -- likely -- a tough season on the horizon, it would have been the perfect time for the Red Sox to make a splash. They should have hired Varitek and given the Boston legend a chance to help them shape the future of the club.
Varitek spent his entire 15-year big league career with the Red Sox and was eventually named the team's captain. He led Boston to two World Series titles (2004 and 2007), is a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame and is a fan-favorite in the city. He's already a special assistant to general manager Chaim Bloom, so it wouldn't be a long walk from there to the dugout.
Varitek would have brought instant credibility to the team on the field and if the Red Sox had a losing season, he'd likely get a long leash from the fans. That would give the new front office time to retool the roster with Varitek's input. It would have been a win all the way around.
Roenicke is a fine baseball man, but Varitek would have been a home run hire for a Red Sox organization that badly needed a win.