Red Sox name bench coach Ron Roenicke 'interim' manager

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Confirming prior reports about the Red Sox' managerial opening, the team named bench coach Ron Roenicke their interim manager on Tuesday.

Red Sox on Twitter

Congrats to Interim Manager Ron Roenicke!

Alex Speier of the Boston Globe was the first to report the news, and though Peter Abraham had previously reported the move, but the team quickly disputed it. Now it appears that it's true. But Speier's report included an important and telling word confirmed by the team: "interim."

The question is why Roenicke's promotion is only temporary.

Ostensibly, the main reason to name Roenicke interim manager on Tuesday is to have someone, a body, in place to run the show as pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Fort Myers. But for whatever reason, he's not necessarily going to be the manager long-term.

One possible motive is that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom would rather look for his own external hire to eventually install for the long haul. Another is, well, maybe the Red Sox plan to eventually bring Alex Cora back. A third is that Roenicke could still be implicated in the Red Sox' sign-stealing investigation stemming from the 2018 season, when he served as bench coach under Cora.

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Ron Roenicke #30 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait during Boston Red Sox Photo Day at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 19, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The latter reason seems unlikely, since the team is reportedly facing a relatively light punishment amid a lack of strong evidence that they actually violated major league rules.

Roenicke managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011-15. Now he's finally getting that post back in Boston after the Red Sox parted ways with Cora. But he wasn't willing to accept congratulations from WBZ's Jonny Miller just yet, as he arrived to spring training (h/t Dan Roche).

Dan Roche on Twitter

The legendary Jonny Miller says "Congratulations" to Ron Roenicke and he responds, "Not yet." #WBZ @wbz https://t.co/4e0hjWmB26

Technically, pitchers and catchers reported to spring training before the manager did.

But the Red Sox have their guy - for now.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].