Red Sox Notes: Ron Roenicke Reflects On 2020 Season, Not Returning In 2021

Roenicke still is proud of the Red Sox despite a tough 2020 season

And just like that, the Boston Red Sox’s 2020 season — and Ron Roenicke’s time as manager — has come to an end.

The Red Sox closed out the 60-game campaign with a 9-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Prior to the game, though, the team announced Roenicke would not return in 2021.

“The tough part was talking to (chief baseball officer) Chaim (Bloom) this morning,” Roenicke said during his Zoom postgame press conference. “… Afterward was a little tough in the clubhouse.”

Roenicke leaves the 2020 season with a 24-36 record. And while it was known the Red Sox would face struggles — especially without Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez — the now-former skipper still is proud of his guys.

“I’m really happy with the way we finished,” Roenicke said. “I thought they did a really good job the last two or three weeks. Personally, I’m happy that I saw some guys playing good ball, having good years. … My focus is trying to get the most out of players.”

As for himself? Well, the 64-year-old knows he worked hard.

“I know how hard I worked. I know the difficulties of the season for everybody,” Roenicke said. “What I really wanted to do was I wanted to manage this team this year. I thought that was the right thing to do. I thought that was the best thing to do.

“… I know how hard I worked. I know how much the players appreciated it. In the end, I’m just not the guy they want to move forward with. … It was a grind. When I told you guys it felt like six months, it did.”

It’s unclear who will be the team’s next manager, but a search will begin immediately.

Here are some other notes from Sunday’s Red Sox-Braves game:

— If Jackie Bradley Jr. played his final game in a Red Sox uniform, he certainly went out on a high note.

The center fielder went 3-for-6 with two runs and an RBI. Bradley was a triple away from the cycle, but was unable to get it done.

He did, however, have a home run and flashed the leather.

“For him to be consistent with the bat this year, that’s very nice,” Xander Bogaerts said on Zoom. “I know that’s something he’ll be proud of.”

Bradley will become a free agent and it’s unknown if he will return to Boston to continue his career.

— Jonathan Araúz hit his first Major League Baseball home run in his final at-bat of the season.

— Braves relief pitcher Darren O’Day hadn’t given up a home run since 2018. But Xander Bogaerts changed that.

— Mike Kickham got the final three outs of the game.

The pitcher did not pitch in the majors for six years, and it’s no guarantee he’ll be on Boston’s roster come 2021. So, if that was final outing for the Red Sox, it certainly ended on a high note.

Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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