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Boston hires Bloom, Pittsburgh fires Huntington

Boston hires a new top baseball guy, and the Pirates fire their top baseball guy

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox, who fired Dave Dombrowski as their president of baseball operations in September, have announced the hiring of Chaim Bloom as their Chief Baseball Officer, they announced today. Bloom effectively replaces Dombrowski as the top baseball person in the Red Sox organization.

Bloom, a 36 year old Yale graduation, gives the Red Sox a dramatic shift at the top of their organizational chart. The 63 year old Dombrowski had run the Montreal Expos, the Florida Marlins and the Detroit Tigers before joining the Red Sox in 2015, and was considered more of an old school type is his management style and approach to baseball decisions. Dombrowski wasn’t anti-analytics, but he operated much more in the vein of how baseball teams have been run in the previous two to three decades.

Bloom, on the other hand, comes from the Rays, who are considered to be on the vanguard of analytics and one of the more forward-thinking teams in the league. While Dombrowski reportedly had a small inner circle he relied on, Bloom has earned praise for his approachability and ability to incorporate input from everyone in the organization while making each person feel valued. With Bloom in charge, it is expected the Red Sox analytics department will be more tightly integrated into baseball operations as a whole.

Meanwhile, as one job opening is filled, another in MLB opens up, as the Pittsburgh Pirates have fired general manager Neal Huntington. Huntington, 50, was hired by the Pirates in 2007 from the Cleveland Indians, where he had worked for the previous decade. Huntington had some success in Pittsburgh, but the recent seasons have been disappointing, and the trades that sent Gerrit Cole to Houston for an underwhelming package (with Cole turning into one of the best pitchers in baseball once he left Pittsburgh) and Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows to Tampa for Chris Archer, who has not lived up to expectations, were black eyes for Huntington. After a season that saw strife and drama in the clubhouse and on the field, manager Clint Hurdle was fired at the end of the season, and the only thing that surprising about Huntington being fired was that it wasn’t announced earlier in the month.