Today the Boston Red Sox fired manager Bobbie Valentine after 1 season. Granted it was a terrible season, but what can you expect after just 1 season. He had to deal with a record number injuries, mentally fragile players, and blockbuster trade that left his roster with a lack of talent. He was brought in to set the clubhouse straight and wasn’t given enough of a chance to turn things around.
Valentine had to deal with more injuries this season than I can remember anyone else having to deal with.For most of the season he didn’t have 2 of his starting pitchers and Beckett wasn’t pitching well when he was healthy, so Valentine was really 3 pitchers down for most of the season. Crawford, Ellsbury, Otriz, an Buchholz all spent significant time on the DL this season. That is a lot of fire power that was unavailable. The biggest reason that the Red Sox were so bad was because the roster for most of the season wasn’t very good and it only got worse when they traded away their big contracts. Crawford, Beckett, and Gonzalez were sent to LA with little in return.
The players that were healthy took issue with some of Valentine’s antics. He isn’t shy with the media and he won’t coddle his players. Bobbie V made a career in New York by calling out his players publicly and making sure they were held accountable for their play. He gets to Boston and does the same things and the players don’t like it. I heard Valentine’s comments about Kevin Youkilis at the beginning of the season and how players like Dustin Pedroia reacted. Valentine said that Youkilis wasn’t focused for a number of possible reasons and that he had faith that Youkilis would get it back and be as good as ever. Pedroia and Youkilis took this as a negative comment and called Valentine out for making his thoughts public. If Pedroia is so sensitive then he is working in the wrong field. If you can’t take honest criticism then get thicker skin, because there is no place where you can hide from it.
Bobbie Valentine did exactly what he was brought in to do and exactly what the Boston Red Sox knew he would do. Valentine is a guy that takes charge and lets people know when things aren’t going well and isn’t afraid to let the blame fall on the players if they aren’t doing things the right way. He was brought in to change the lax culture in the clubhouse, but apparently he wasn’t supposed to ruffle any feathers in the process. Basically it sounds like Valentine was given a job that was doomed for failure.
I understand that the 93 losses were the worst in a long while for the Red Sox, but the situation dictated that more than 1 man. A culture change takes time and an understanding that there will be tough times before things get better. Now the Red Sox are stuck with trying to find someone to complete the culture change while reverting back to the way things were. The Red Sox have no consistency at the top right now which will make it difficult for anyone to come in and get anything done. I just hope the next guy has only 1 season no matter what the contract says.