FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox made the perfect choice.
Well, to be quite honest, the only choice.
On Tuesday, the eve of spring training, the Red Sox officially announced Ron Roenicke as the club’s manager for the upcoming season.
Technically, he’s their “interim” manager in order to cover the club’s behind in case Roenicke somehow is implicated in Major League Baseball’s sign-stealing investigation.
The Red Sox made their decision last week, but once Alex Cora departed in the wake of his role in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal, they knew Roenicke had to be the guy.
Were they really going to throw an outsider – much less a rookie manager – out there to feed the angry masses in New England?
They needed Roenicke, 63, their veteran bench coach the last two seasons, to help alleviate what promises to be one of the most tumultuous seasons in Red Sox history.
We’re talking about a team that fired its general manager Dave Dombrowski in September, and parted ways with its beloved manager in January after he was suspended by the league.
A team that still is under investigation by MLB for its potential role in a cheating scandal of its own.
And a team that no longer has one of the greatest players in the game in Mookie Betts, not to mention former Cy Young winner David Price.
Managing the Red Sox used to be one of the greatest gigs in the entire game.
Now, it could be one of the nastiest.
You try taking over a team whose fanbase is irate with a minor-league system that’s woefully thin, yet you’re still expected to compete with the New York Yankees.
Roenicke, who managed the Milwaukee Brewers for five years and has 21 years of major-league coaching experience, certainly is capable of providing a soothing calmness. He has coordinated the Red Sox’s spring training camp the last two years, so the transition will be easy.
Yet, once the games start counting for real, and Red Sox fans look for answers why the team stinks, everything changes.
Roenicke can handle the noise.
But he’s no miracle worker.
The Red Sox look to be a financially-bloated, decidedly average team this year, and while those arrows may be pointed towards the Red Sox brass right now, surely the fire will eventually be aimed at Roenicke.
His easiest day on the job will be on their first day Wednesday.
It could get awfully ugly the rest of the way.