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Maybe the Red Sox really should fire Bobby Valentine

Apr 21, 2012, 7:43 PM EDT

Bobby Valentine, Jarrod Saltalamacchia AP

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the whole point to hiring Bobby Valentine is that he’s a cut above most as a tactical manager? He’s not in the Boston dugout because he’s a great manager of people. Nor does he have a rep as some sort of master disciplinarian who manages to get the most out of players. He’s there because he’s a smart guy, and the Red Sox apparently wanted a smart guy.

Unfortunately, 14 games in, Valentine isn’t looking very smart. Leaving left-hander Franklin Morales in to face Mike Napoli was the bases loaded in the Texas game Tuesday was an awful move that worked out just as badly as should have been expected (Napoli hit a bases-clearing double, giving Texas a 6-2 lead). Saturday’s eighth-inning moves in the 15-9 loss to the Yankees, dropping Boston to 4-10 on the season, weren’t quite so baffling, but they were terribly wrong-headed.

First, with the Red Sox up 9-8, he let Morales start the eighth against a right-hander, even though Morales had already gotten three outs. That would have been explicable if he actually intended to go forward with Morales, but he removed him immediately after a leadoff single. That’s like my rule No. 1: don’t send a pitcher back to the mound if you’re going to pull him after the first mistake. It’s stupid managing.

So, now Valentine brings in his closer to try to get six outs, only he does it with a man on first instead of with the bases empty. Alfredo Aceves proceded to walk Derek Jeter and give up a two-run double to Nick Swisher, putting the Yankees up 10-9. Next up was the second dumb move of the inning: Valentine had Aceves walk Robinson Cano to bring up Alex Rodriguez with two on and none out.

I wouldn’t have had a big problem with that in the ninth with Mariano Rivera set to come in. Doing everything possible to keep the lead at one would have been the best strategy then. But the Red Sox had two more chances to score, and Valentine just handed them the recipe for a big inning by giving the Bombers yet another baserunner. A-Rod walked to load the bases, Mark Teixeira doubled and it was 12-9. Yet another intentional walk followed and the top of the eighth ended with the Red Sox down by six.

I do feel kind of bad for Valentine. This isn’t the team the Red Sox figured to put on the field. He’s been stripped of his closer, his left fielder and now his center fielder. Also, he can’t be blamed for the fact that the Red Sox’s top three starters have been shelled a combined four times already.

But I don’t see Valentine doing any good either. He hasn’t lost the Red Sox any games by himself, but he’s certainly put the team in position to lose a couple of times and this squad simply isn’t good enough to bail him out.

  1. drewzducks - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    After setting a Guinness Worlds Record for toasting yesterday apparently the bullpen was inspired and attempted to set a record for roasting.

  2. affanzinside - Apr 21, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Reblogged this on Affanzinside's Blog and commented:
    great…………

  3. billymc75 - Apr 21, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Ryan Sanberg

    • frankvzappa - Apr 22, 2012 at 1:02 AM

      Nice one. On so many levels. I mean, REALLY?

    • Alex K - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      Who is Ryan Sanberg?

  4. ndrocks2 - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    MAYBE???

  5. kappy32 - Apr 22, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Calm down. Fire Valentine? We are 3 weeks into the season & it is not his fault the team has given up 45 runs in the past 4 games. Buccholz will turn it around, as will Beckett. Bard has shown he has the potential to be a good starter, and Carl Crawford will have something to prove when he comes back from the DL. This team has the potential to run off 45 wins out of 60 games & I fully expect them to do that once the summer comes. They’ll be in contention for the AL East & WC come September. People tend to overreact too much too early. Bobby V has been out of the MLB for a while, so he will need a little time to get acclimated. I promise you that the Sox will finish with a record at least 15 games better than my Mets.

    • MTLighthouse69 - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:25 AM

      You do realize the the major problem with the Red Sox right now is their relief pitching, Right? Unless their starters start pitching complete games, the Sox are going to be out of the playoff race by the All-Star game.

      Of course it doesn’t help matters any that Valentine can’t keep his mouth shut.

    • zx11c3 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      A member of red sux nation that stills believes in Santa Claus and the the great pumpkin. I think Bobby V is the tooth fairy.

  6. 27xwschamps - Apr 22, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Just saw on the mother ship…Bobby v looked like he crap@ed his pants..damn what a great day !!! God bless thurmon munson.. A TRUE NYY legend.. 15 4 ever..

    • bigdell - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      We will never forget # 15.

  7. buffalomafia - Apr 22, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    I heardcTito is coming back & bringing beer & KFC with him! Lol!

    • zx11c3 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      Sorry, Tito is just SENDING the bird. LOL

  8. proudliberal85392 - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Yankees/Red Sox: Greatest rivalry in sports…if you’re in NY or Boston. Otherwise, who cares?

  9. 27xwschamps - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    NYY just scre@!ed the pooch !!! If the NYY dont win another series all year..they screwed the chowdes….damn what a fu@kig wkmd ,….,.NYY 4 eternnity …KSM.…

    • jimbo1949 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Oh geez, somebody left the gate open and now the Yahoo crowd has wandered in.

  10. mornelithe - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    As a Sox fan, I really don’t blame Valentine for what’s transpired thus far. I blame the Red Sox pitching staff, their starter’s and Bullpen. Dubront did great yesterday, but, as is the norm so far this season, the BP couldn’t back up the starter and get the outs. That’s not Valentine’s fault, at least I don’t see it that way.

    Sox need to blow up their pitching staff, completely. Not sure who to keep, because they all seem to be hideously underperforming. Buccholz could be given the benefit of the doubt, because he’s returning from injury. But, Beckett and Lester? What gives?

    If they can’t this year, they should seriously consider completely reworking the rotation next year. Offload all the pitchers who aren’t carrying their weight, shed their contracts, and then start from scratch (Maybe even find a new pitching coach….we miss you John Farrell).

    • MTLighthouse69 - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Valentine should have known what he was getting himself into. He and he alone, is responsible for that. He was covering baseball for ESPN, wasn’t he smart enough to realize what kind of disaster the Sox team is?

      The Sox have a huge problem with their pitching staff, and starting over isn’t so easy. How many of those contracts do you want them to eat?

      Beckett should have been dealt before the season started, but the Sox would have to eat a lot of that contract. Beckett has little to no trade value at this point, mainly because IMO, he isn’t a good locker room guy, he is getting old, and he has a huge contract. Getting rid of Beckett would be basically addition by subtraction. The Red Sox need to do it, but they won’t get much in return.

      Also take into account that no team in their right mind this early in the season is going to admit defeat, they aren’t going to start dumping huge contracts. What message does that send to their fans? That also complicates any trades the Sox may want to make for players that “matter” from small market teams.

      All of the nonsense that the Sox were going through should have been dealt with before the season started. Now it is nearing the end of the first month of baseball and the Red Sox are scrambling. Anyone who has been following the Red Sox could see this coming. Francona wasn’t the problem, anyone paying attention already knew that.

      Putting Bard back in the bullpen doesn’t necessarily help much. Sure, he is better than any of the relief pitchers that the Red Sox currently have. However, if you look at his stats, he has certainly blown more than his share of leads as a releiver.

      • mornelithe - Apr 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Valentine likely did know what he was getting himself into, the problem is, Valentine can’t be held responsible for shitty pitching. Making a bad coaching decision? Certainly, but when your 3 prime starters who’ve all had seasons of brilliance in the past are being shelled relentlessly, there’s really not many options.

        So yeah, dump the contracts, eat them if you must, but these players the pitching staff in particular need to realize that contract obligations or no, your JOB can be given to someone else. Sure, it may be expensive for the Socks, but inaction solves nothing either. I feel it’s also pretty unfair to the offense who’s generally doing their jobs, and seeing the game lost from the opposite side of the ball continuously.

        So it boils down to, let the pitching staff get paid obscene amounts of money for awful work, with absolutely no accountability, or put the fear of god into them by making an example out of one (or more) of the ‘aces’ they’re currently just letting sponge money from them.

        Either way, Bobby needs to come down hard on these guys….how about sending Beckett to the minors? lol….that’d be fitting.

    • sparky1002 - Apr 22, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      It`s really too bad the upper management of the RedSox didn`t have your attitude before they decided to fire Francona.

      • mornelithe - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:33 PM

        In all honesty, I can understand what management was trying to do. However, the manner they chose to do it in, was pretty under-handed. Especially going after Francona afterwards.

        Boston’s issues have clearly been pitching since the end of last April (Their offense wasn’t that great early last season), so these guys need a wake-up call. A big one.

  11. ipadcowboy - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Word!

  12. guypatsfan - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    The Red Sox suck, pure and simple. It’s gonna be a long season in Fenway this year.

    • zx11c3 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      And I love it!

  13. offseasonblues - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    It’s certainly no fun when your team fails in increasingly epic ways to start a season.

    But man, there’s a lot of hate piled on hate out here. And I’m going to take it as a weird kind of compliment, because I don’t think so many would be so giddy if the Red Sox record to date were owned by the Royals, or Pirates, or Astros.

    As for the idea of firing Bobby, I don’t really care. Things will get better with him or without him, even if they get worse first.

    • bozosforall - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      The “hate” is mostly for the loudmouthed, obnoxious fan base that hasn’t shut up for the last decade…that after having trashed other teams in the decade preceding this one. Consider it payback.

  14. offseasonblues - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Another comment – the booing of Bobby is, I think, partly or even mostly booing of ownership for the way Tito was treated. And karma’s a bitch, and that debt has to be paid. Maybe, as of yesterday’s game it has been, and maybe not. We’ll see.

  15. mungman69 - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    It’s early besides he didn’t hire these players.

  16. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    It’s a combination of:

    last season’s choke
    Bobby
    ownership
    Lousy bullpen (and possibly pitching coach)

    The team doesn’t want a whole season of the Bobby circus, and there’s no goodwill shown from either him or ownership. Thus, morale is really low, and that bleeds into the results. If you don’t feel good, you’re probably not going to do as well as normal. And a cobbled-together pen full of low-morale suspects….yikes.

    Meanwhile Josh Reddick is tearing it up for Oakland. /facepalm

  17. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Also, I think the players see an opportunity to actually get Bobby fired. So they may be interested in tanking the next few games.

  18. deathmonkey41 - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Maybe he should question if Mariano Rivera is really that good or just got lucky over 600 times?

  19. damnyankee13 - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    hey big league, in every other part of the know nb universe, this century startted in 2000, not 2001 so wqe tied this century What hapeened in the cventury prior to this ?or dont yall wanna admit you are losers? from way back?

    • drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM

      You appear to be a loser from birth.

    • bigleagues - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      hey damnyankee13:

      In every other part of the KNOWN educated universe people know that the 21st Century began on January 1st, 2001.

      Why? Because there was no Year Zero.

      Anyway I don’t really expect you to know that. You’re a Yankees fan.

      Oh snap! Sit down, son and finish your vegetables.

      http://www.timeanddate.com/counters/mil2000.html

  20. mortonbrett - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    my co-worker’s sister-in-law made $19509 past week. she is working on the computer and got a $522200 house. All she did was get lucky and put in action the tips written on this link (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/7dDIV

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