Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the Boston Red Sox are poised to promote bench coach Ron Roenicke as their new manager. He cites “a high-ranking baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal.” Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe is also reporting that Roenicke is the man.
Baseball’s punishment for the Red Sox’ 2018 sign-stealing scandal has yet to come down, but this report suggests that Roenicke, who was the bench coach under Alex Cora during that season, will come away from it all unscathed. If that’s not the case, well, that “high-ranking baseball official” probably needs to attend more meetings.
Roenicke managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011-15, compiling a record of 342-331. His best season with the Brewers was his first, when the club won the NL Central with a record of 96-66 and made it to the NLCS, where they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals. After being dismissed by Milwaukee he coached with the Dodgers and the Angels. He also coached for the Angels for several years prior to taking the Brewers’ job.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.