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Red Sox promote Ron Roenicke to interim manager

By Jimmy Golen

AP Sports Writer

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox promoted bench coach Ron Roenicke to manager Tuesday, hiring him to replace Alex Cora on the day the team’s pitchers and catchers reported for the start of spring training.

The move is an indication that Roenicke — and perhaps the entire Red Sox organization — will escape punishment in baseball’s sign-stealing investigation. Cora was let go for his role in the Houston Astros’ cheating, but the team has maintained that there was no similar scheme in Boston when the Red Sox won it all in 2018.

A decision from Major League Baseball had been expected before the start of spring training, but a person with knowledge of the probe said the investigation would continue into next week. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because there was no formal announcement.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that he hoped to have the investigation wrapped before the start of spring training; Red Sox pitchers and catchers reported Tuesday and have their first workout Wednesday.

Roenicke, 63, takes over a team that is dealing with the fallout not only from the cheating investigation but also the salary dump of onetime AL MVP Mookie Betts and Cy Young winner David Price.

The Red Sox let Cora go after he was identified as the ringleader in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme during their 2017 World Series championship season. Boston won a franchise-record 108 regular-season games and the World Series in Cora’s first year, then followed that up by missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Roenicke spent five years as the Brewers manager, winning 96 games and the NL Central title in his first season and finishing as runner-up for NL manager of the year. In all, he led Milwaukee to a 342-331 record in five seasons.

Roenicke batted .238 with 17 homers and 113 RBIs as an outfielder and pinch hitter with six teams from 1981-88. The younger brother of major-leaguer Gary Roenicke, he went on to coach in the Dodgers and Angels systems before taking over the Brewers in the 2011 season.