Skip to content

Maybe the Red Sox really should fire Bobby Valentine

Apr 21, 2012, 7:43 PM EST

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.

Latest Posts
  1. There was a fire at Camden Yards

    Feb 1, 2015, 9:33 PM EST

    Kelly Johnson, Devin Mesoraco, Mike Estabrook AP

    A ticket booth on the first floor of the warehouse at Camden Yards caught fire on Sunday night.

  2. Clint Barmes is a Padres hipster

    Feb 1, 2015, 8:25 PM EST

    Clint Barmes Clint Barmes

    The Padres began their overhaul shortly after signing Clint Barmes to a one-year deal. He wasn’t quite expecting to be on a team expected to seriously contend with the Dodgers in the NL West.

  3. Jeff Samardzija would consider an extension with the White Sox

    Feb 1, 2015, 7:15 PM EST

    Jeff Samardzija Jeff Samardzija

    Jeff Samardzija wants to see “how it is” with the White Sox for half a season, but might consider a contract extension before the 2015 season is over.

  4. David Ortiz and Robinson Cano give their Super Bowl XLIX predictions

    Feb 1, 2015, 6:05 PM EST

    Brad Miller, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz AP

    Check out what David Ortiz and Robinson Cano think will happen in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday night.

  5. Reds sign Paul Maholm to minor league deal

    Feb 1, 2015, 5:20 PM EST

    paul maholm getty Getty Images

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Reds have agreed to a contract with 32-year-old left-hander Paul Maholm.

  6. Braves hold private workout for Hector Olivera

    Feb 1, 2015, 4:11 PM EST

    hector olivera getty Getty Images

    Badler writes that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and assistant GM John Coppolella were both in attendance, along with a number of special assistants and the organization’s top two scouts.

  7. Zack Greinke hasn’t made decision about opt-out

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:37 PM EST

    zack greinke getty Getty Images

    Zack Greinke is allowed to opt out of his six-year, $146 million contract with the Dodgers after the 2015 season. In doing that, the right-hander would be leaving three years and $77 million on the table but …

  8. Matt Harrison experiences minor setback in rehabilitation from spinal fusion surgery

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:13 PM EST

    matt harrison rangers getty Getty Images

    Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Harrison has put off moving his throwing program from 90 feet to out 105 feet because he is experiencing tightness in his right hip.

  9. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson plans to spend another spring in Rangers camp

    Feb 1, 2015, 11:58 AM EST

    russell wilson getty Getty Images

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes in his weekly Sunday notes column that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson — who’s getting set to take on the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX tonight on NBC — is planning to spend some time in camp this spring with the Texas Rangers.

  10. Andruw Jones aiming to return to Major League Baseball

    Feb 1, 2015, 10:32 AM EST

    andruw jones nl getty Getty Images

    The 37-year-old will likely have to settle for a minor league contract. He’d then have to earn a roster spot.

  11. Video: Ernie Banks’ memorial service

    Feb 1, 2015, 9:05 AM EST

    ernie banks

    Here is some great video from Ernie Banks’ memorial service Saturday in Chicago …

  12. Wives of Jim Edmonds and Josh Hamilton to appear on The Real Housewives of Orange County

    Jan 31, 2015, 11:25 PM EST

    Los Angels Angels newly acquired outfielder Hamilton talks with reporters as his wife, Katie, looks on during a news conference in Anaheim Reuters

    Meghan King Edmonds and Katie Chadwick Hamilton, the wives of Jim and Josh respectively, will appear on the tenth season of The Real Housewives of Orange County.

  13. Red Sox plan to use Brandon Workman out of the bullpen

    Jan 31, 2015, 10:40 PM EST

    Brandon Workman Brandon Workman

    Brandon Workman will enter spring training as a reliever, attempting to grab a scarce spot at the back of the Red Sox bullpen.

  14. A.J. Preller still in touch with the Phillies about Cole Hamels

    Jan 31, 2015, 9:50 PM EST

    Cole Hamels Cole Hamels

    The Padres are still interested in Phillies ace Cole Hamels, though they may not be able to put together an enticing enough deal to attain him.

  15. Freddie Freeman: “I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

    Jan 31, 2015, 9:00 PM EST

    Freddie Freeman Freddie Freeman

    The Braves may have pawned off many of their productive players, but Freddie Freeman still thinks they’ll compete in 2015.

  16. Someone apparently got Jayson Werth’s autograph in jail

    Jan 31, 2015, 8:10 PM EST

    Washington Nationals v New York Mets Getty Images

    Jayson Werth signed an inmate handbook for someone during his stay in jail in Fairfax, Virginia.

  17. Remembering Mr. Cub

    Jan 31, 2015, 7:10 PM EST

    Ernie Banks Ernie Banks

    Ernie Banks, who played 19 seasons in the major leagues, made an enormous impact on the game of baseball. That has been evident in the wonderful stories that have been shared over the last week.

  18. Rays sign Ronald Belisario to a minor league deal

    Jan 31, 2015, 6:05 PM EST

    Ronald Belisario AP

    The Rays added some depth, signing reliever Ronald Belisario on Saturday. It appears they’ll be adding infielder Alexi Casilla as well.

  19. Cubs sign Mike Baxter

    Jan 31, 2015, 5:30 PM EST

    Mike Baxter AP AP

    Baxter appeared in four games with the Dodgers last season and owns a .225/.331/.342 batting line in the majors. He’ll always be aces with Mets fans, though.

  20. Angels and Garrett Richards avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 31, 2015, 4:39 PM EST

    Garrett Richards AP

    Richards emerged as one of the best pitchers in the American League last season before tearing his left patellar tendon in August.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Richards (3134)
  2. T. Snider (3005)
  3. D. Mesoraco (2854)
  4. N. Cotts (2651)
  5. J. Werth (2600)