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MLB’s Red Sox name bench coach Roenicke interim manager

(AFP)

Ron Roenicke was named interim manager of the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, replacing Alex Cora who was forced to resign for his role in Major League Bbaseball’s sign-stealing scandal.

Roenicke, 63, had served as the Red Sox bench coach under Cora for the past two seasons and brings stability and familiar leadership to a clubhouse rocked by Cora’s January departure and the trades of stars Mookie Betts and David Price.

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“Ron’s extensive coaching and managerial experience, in addition to his familiarity with our players and staff, make him an ideal fit as we prepare for the 2020 season,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said.

“He has the respect of everyone in the clubhouse and the way he carries himself and communicates will be a positive influence on our entire organization. We’re confident that Ron will hit the ground running and we’re excited to work closely with him as he leads our group forward.”

An MLB investigation into the 2017 Houston Astros found a high-tech scene-stealing scheme involving cameras in centerfield, monitors just beyond the team dugout and players banging on trash cans to signal batters what type of throw opposing pitchers were going to toss.

The scandal led to the firing of Astros manager A.J. Hinch, the New York Mets parting ways with 2017 Astros player Carlos Beltran and the Red Sox splitting with Cora, a 2017 Astros bench coach who managed the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series title.

Another ongoing MLB investigation is looking into whether or not Cora used any sort of sign-stealing scheme to help the Red Sox in their championship season.

Once that probe is complete, Roenicke could become the official 48th manager in Red Sox history.

“I understand the challenges we’re going to have,” Roenicke said Tuesday. “Our focus is on a really good bunch of guys and a great team. We want the players to be the best they can be.”

The Red Sox missed the playoffs last year, going 84-78.

“We’re going to try to get back into the playoffs,” Roenicke said. “We were disappointed in last year. We want to get back into the playoffs and see what happens from there.”

Roenicke has been coaching baseball for almost three decades, including a run as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 through 2015 where he went 342-331 before being fired a month into the 2015 campaign after a 7-18 start by the Brewers.

During a stint in the Los Angeles Dodgers development system in 1997, Cora played under Roenicke, a former outfielder who spent eight years playing in the major leagues.

Roenicke was the third-base coach for the 2002 World Series champion Los Angeles Angels under manager Mike Scioscia and for the 2017 Dodgers team that lost to Houston in the World Series.

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