- Sep 13, 2006
It certainly was for me, as I've been impressed with Tampa Bay's uncanny ability to field competitive teams on a very constrained budget. I viewed the Rays' FO's 2 greatest skills as: 1) their (seemingly endless) ability to find/develop pitching; and 2) their penchant for savvy trades. I imagined what the Rays' FO could accomplish if they had the Red Sox vast financial resources. I was excited at the prospect of a "best-of-both-worlds" merger of the Rays' FO's strongest attributes with the Red Sox ownership's willingness to spend. I believed that Bloom was the right hire at the time....I think coming from Tampa was a positive to a far greater percentage of the fan base than it was a negative.
If anything, my present lack of faith in Chaim stems largely from unfulfilled expectations. To my eyes, Bloom's performance with the Big League roster has been underwhelming at best. I truly believed that he could/would field a competitive Major League team while simultaneously strengthening the farm system. I do not believe that these are mutually exclusive objectives, especially for a franchise with Boston's financial resources.
My present disenchantment with Chaim also stems from comparisons to his predecessor's decisiveness. Dombrowski operated like a professional assassin. He identified his target(s) and he moved swiftly and decisively. By comparison, some of Bloom's moves seem downright bipolar (see Bradley, Jackie and Renfroe, Hunter). At the 2020 trade deadline, Bloom fails to move JBJ. Was he planning on bringing JBJ back in 2021? He didn't. Then, after JBJ's execrable 2021 season, Chaim trades one of his successful "buy-low" acquisitions (Renfroe) for JBJ. Many people view these moves as headscratchers.
While the jury remains out on many of Bloom's moves with respect to the farm system (and will likely remain out for multiple years), I don't see a wealth of almost-ready talent that will transform the Big League team into a Championship-caliber team any time soon, even if I squint hard.
I also wonder how much faith the players on the big-league roster have in Chaim. It would be fascinating to be the proverbial fly on the wall when discussions re: Chaim are taking place amongst the players.
Despite my initial enthusiasm for Chaim, I presently feel that Bloom represents a hire that has not borne enough fruit. Were his employment to be terminated tomorrow, I would not shed a tear.