October 4, 2012 Leave a comment
It was an uphill battle from the start and unfortunately for Bobby Valentine the climb has ended. The Boston Red Sox have announced the firing of Valentine as manager after one year on the job. One extremely long year.
This comes as no surprise to anyone who follows baseball and I have to even applaud Valentine for hanging in there until the very end this year. He’s a good baseball guy with a solid track record. He also can come off as arrogant and confrontational. That just wasn’t a good mix for someone to take to the Red Sox and be their manager, not this year and not with that team.
The Red Sox finished the year in last place of the AL East division with a 69-93 record. That won’t get it done in Boston.
When Valentine accepted the manager’s position in Boston, he knew what he was walking into. The Red Sox had just parted ways with long-time manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein respectively. Valentine was inheriting a roster that wasn’t his and not anywhere prepared to for his in your face managerial style. The Red Sox thought they could shake up a team that may have tuned out Francona’s voice with someone like Valentine. This proved to be a major mistake.
In fairness to Valentine, the Red Sox were a team hit hard by injuries in 2012. Valentine never was able to find a starting lineup to put on the field consistently. However he also clashed with his players and at times rubbed them the wrong way. These were players who were used to running through walls for their former manager, not for the new guy on the block.
To fire a manager after one year is a statement move. It means that things were so bad in that one year that you just can’t take the risk of letting that person lead the team any further. Valentine was indeed that bad. The Red Sox needed to just turn the page and move forward.
The Red Sox can still turn things around and bounce back next year. If they can put the right person in place for the job, they’ll still have Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz as team leaders and not to mention they will also have saved over $250 million worth of salary from parting ways with Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford earlier this year via that major trade with the Dodgers.
The Red Sox just need the right guy for the job and Valentine just wasn’t that guy. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.