Chaim Bloom hears the kvetching about the Red Sox’s relative inactivity at the trade deadline. But he thinks it’s unwarranted and overblown.
In an interview Thursday on “The Greg Hill Show,” the Red Sox’s chief baseball officer addressed the widespread criticism over his deadline strategy. He kept reiterating the organization doesn’t want to make moves for the sake of shaping public opinion. They want to do what’s best for the baseball team.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to be aggressive if we’re doing something that’s not a good baseball trade, that doesn’t help this team, that’s going to lead to more losing than winning,” he said. “We don’t want do those things. We want to make good baseball moves, and we found three that line up, and we think they’re all going to help this team down the stretch.”
As Bloom mentioned, the Red Sox did make three moves last month, acquiring injured slugger Kyle Schwarber and relievers Austin Davis and Hansel Robles. But it wasn’t enough for many fans, who saw the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays all make more significant additions. Still, Bloom says it’s important to remember there are many subsets of Red Sox fans, and not all of them call into talk radio or post on Twitter.
“I find it hard to believe people would want us to do things that are responsive to public opinion, or try to spin things in a PR game if we don’t actually think they’re good baseball moves,” Bloom said. “You also have to remind yourself that we have a lot of fans, and they have a lot of different opinions, and sometimes you have some parts of the fanbase that are going to like what you do, and some parts that don’t. That’s really hard to gage. You’ve got to remind yourself that Twitter is not always real life.”
The Red Sox’s poor play since the deadline has only added to the backlash Bloom is facing, as they’ve dropped nine of their last 12 games. But Bloom said he doesn’t attribute the team’s struggles to any exterior factors.
“I never pretend to be inside everybody’s head, but to me, that’s an easy narrative based on what’s happened since the trade deadline,” he said. “The season has peaks and valleys. We’ve been very fortunate that for the entire first half of the season we didn’t have very many. Obviously, the timing leads to an easy narrative. But I would say this: everything we’ve seen from this team, nobody believed in them from day one. I think they’ve proven people wrong, and they’ve earned people’s belief. If you believe in them, and if you believe in them going into the deadline, I think you should think more of them than thinking this kind of thing will go to their head.”
Bloom also pushed back on the notion that he’s trying to turn the Red Sox into a big market version of the Rays, or that executives working in small markets don’t value winning.
“As far as being hungry to win, trust me, you don’t need to be in a big market and have really involved fans to be hungry to win,” he said. "That’s what this game is all about. If you want to really please your fans, sometimes you aren’t necessarily doing it by what they’re clamoring for in the moment. It’s our job to see around corners sometimes, and to do some of those things.”
While those are fine defenses, actions will speak louder than words. We’ll see what Bloom does this upcoming offseason to improve the club. In the meantime, the Red Sox will try to make up their lost ground, with few reinforcements on the way.