The Boston Red Sox fired its chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom, on Thursday. Bloom is an observant Jew who has been a target of antisemitism from within the club’s farm system, as has been widely reported.
He has held the position with the team since October 2019.
“Not sure if anyone’s pointed this out yet, but firing your Jewish chief baseball officer the day before Rosh Hashanah (our new year and one of the holiest days of our calendar) is just really tasteless,” wrote Gabrielle Starr, a Red Sox reporter for The Boston Herald.
“Today, the Red Sox decided to play God, and made Bloom their Moses,” Starr wrote in another post on social media. “You can lead us through the desert, but you won’t be the one to take us to the Promised Land.”
When someone accused her of being antisemitic, Starr wrote: “Yup, the rabbi’s daughter who has ‘loudly and proudly Jewish’ in her bio is being antisemitic by making a Torah analogy. You got me, shlemiel.”
“Great things are now in store for the Red Sox. And while I’m sad that I won’t be watching them from the same chair, I will still be very proud,” Bloom stated.
“Red Sox fans, you are the best. Your passion fueled me daily and added meaning to everything I’ve done here,” he added. “You very much deserve more championships. And you will get them.”
“There is always a religion angle,” wrote Bob Smietana, national religion writer at Religion News Service and a Red Sox fan, in response to one of Starr’s posts.
“I wonder if, despite the rise in antisemitism, America is religion-blind in the way that people talk about being colorblind,” Smietana told JNS when asked if he thought the timing was significant. “As if people had forgotten that Chaim Bloom is Jewish. Which is better than being prejudiced against Jews but has its own downside.”
There is also a teachable moment in relation to the timing, added Smietana, although he noted that one of the Red Sox owners, Tom Werner, is of Jewish ancestry.
“There’s a lesson that in our rush to weed out prejudice, we don’t really see each other,” Smietana told JNS. “This also seems like an unforced error—why not just wait till the season is over?”