Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Blue Jays claim Andy Dirks off waivers from Tigers

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Andy Dirks AP

    Dirks missed the entire season following back surgery and then a hamstring injury.

  2. The Giants victory parade is going on . . . now!

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    giants logo

    Go O.D. on some hot trolley action.

  3. Eric Chavez joins the Yankees as special assignment scout

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Getty Images

    Chavez played for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012.

  4. HBT Daily: One last look back at the World Series and a look ahead at the Hot Stove Season

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    Our last HBT Daily of the year gives a brief taste of the coming winter.

  5. Indians exercise $3.5 million option on Mike Aviles

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

    Mike Aviles, Asdrubal Cabrera AP

    This season he hit just .247 with a .616 OPS in 113 games and Aviles hasn’t cracked a .700 OPS since 2010.

  6. Should Alex Gordon have tried to steal home on Wednesday night?

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 1.01.27 PM AP

    Some random, hypothetical musings on a Friday afternoon.

  7. GM says Red Sox will have “a conversation” with free agent Jon Lester

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

    Jon Lester Getty AP

    He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2002 and made 241 starts for Boston.

  8. The Tigers exercise their option on Joakim Soria

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.46.21 AM AP

    The only question for next season is what inning he’ll pitch.

  9. Brewers decline Rickie Weeks’ option

    Oct 31, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

    rickie-weeks-brewers2 AP

    Weeks has spent his entire career with the Brewers after being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 draft.

  10. Daisuke Matsuzaka has a multi-year offer to return to Japan

    Oct 31, 2014, 10:19 AM EDT

    Daisuke Matsuzaka AP

    Matsuzaka left Japan in 2007 to sign a six-year, $52 million contract with the Red Sox and had immediate success, but dating back to 2009 he’s combined to throw 418 innings with a 5.10 ERA.

  11. Ruben Amaro unveils a “The Phillies Way” handbook

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:43 AM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    The mind reels when thinking of what may appear in such a publication.

  12. HardballTalk’s Top 150 Free Agents for 2015

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Division Series - Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One Getty Images

    Including writeups for the top 63, because we’re not always all about round numbers.

  13. Fox’s World Series broadcast gets a low grade from The New York Times

    Oct 31, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT

    old TV

    And it’s hard to argue with any of what Richard Sandomir has to say about it.

  14. Joe Maddon’s pursuit of the Cubs job called “a classless act” by some in the game

    Oct 31, 2014, 6:27 AM EDT

    Joe Maddon AP

    Baseball people are saying that it’s one thing to go after a vacant job. It’s another thing altogether, however, to pursue a job someone — namely Rick Renteria — currently occupies.

  15. Statcast: A deeper look at Joe Panik’s amazing double play from Game 7

    Oct 30, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Joe Panik AP AP

    Giants second baseman Joe Panik started a key double play in Game 7. Here’s a deeper look at how it went down.

  16. Diamondbacks exercise options on Daniel Hudson, Matt Reynolds

    Oct 30, 2014, 9:47 PM EDT

    diamondbacks logo

    The Diamondbacks announced this evening that they have exercised club options on right-hander Daniel Hudson and left-hander Matt Reynolds for 2015.

  17. Padres decline $4 million option on Josh Johnson

    Oct 30, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres Photo Day Getty Images

    Johnson missed the entire 2014 season after the second Tommy John surgery of his career.

  18. Game 7 of the 2014 World Series was the second-most watched MLB game since 2004

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT

    Giants celebrate AP AP

    The early television ratings for this year’s World Series were pretty low, but the Giants and Royals ended up going the distance and we witnessed a very compelling Game 7 last night. It turns out that a lot of folks tuned in to see what the fuss was all about.

  19. 2014 Fielding Bible Award winners announced

    Oct 30, 2014, 7:24 PM EDT

    Lorenzo Cain Getty Getty Images

    The Fielding Bible Awards are back. And they have an interesting wrinkle this time around.

  20. Orioles pick up options on Wei-Yin Chen, Darren O’Day; decline on Nick Markakis, Nick Hundley

    Oct 30, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT

    orioles logo

    The Orioles announced their option decisions earlier this evening and there wasn’t a surprise in the bunch.

Featured video

Final take away from World Series
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Pence (2209)
  2. M. Morse (2179)
  3. Y. Cespedes (2090)
  4. J. Panik (2082)
  5. M. Moustakas (2028)