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. Anthony Rizzo wins 2014 Branch Rickey Award

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

    Anthony Rizzo Getty Getty Images

    Rizzo won the award in recognition of his community work with pediatric cancer patients.

  2. It certainly looks like Barry Bonds’ criminal conviction is going to be overturned

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

    Closing Arguments Delivered In Barry Bonds Trial Getty Images

    That’s right: for the 2,559th time, Barry Bonds is gonna walk.

  3. Report: Wally Backman could join Mets coaching staff in 2015

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    Wally Backman, Tim Teufel

    We learned late last week that Wally Backman will join the Mets coaching staff on Friday to finish out the season. Now there’s a chance that he could remain in the major leagues to begin 2015.

  4. VIDEO: Derek Jeter hits first home run at Yankee Stadium this season

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    Derek Jeter Getty Getty Images

    After snapping an 0-for-28 hitless streak last night, Derek Jeter homered at Yankee Stadium tonight for the first time all season.

  5. Giancarlo Stanton gives update on his recovery

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:58 PM EDT

    giancarlo stanton getty Getty Images

    Stanton suffered facial fractures and dental damage when he was hit in the face by a fastball last Thursday.

  6. Ryan Zimmerman goes 1-for-7, runs at 85 percent speed

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:27 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals AP

    It’s possible Zimmerman could be activated from the disabled list as soon as this weekend.

  7. Hanley Ramirez back in Dodgers’ lineup Thursday

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Getty Getty Images

    Ramirez has missed back-to-back starts with an elbow strain.

  8. Josh Hamilton had “sharp stabbing pains” in his chest

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    billy hamilton getty Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton rejoined the Angels’ lineup Tuesday after sitting out 10 games with a right shoulder injury, but he missed last night’s game and is out of the lineup again tonight with more shoulder problems.

  9. Diamondbacks shutting down Daniel Hudson

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    Daniel Hudson AP

    Hudson made it back to the majors this month for the first time since June 26, 2012.

  10. Jose Fernandez could begin throwing program on October 1

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez AP AP

    Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is still a long way from pitching in the majors again, but he’s very close to picking up a baseball for the first time since his Tommy John surgery on May 16.

  11. Pneumonia could end Nolan Arenado’s season

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

    nolan arenado getty Getty Images

    Arenado has taken a strong step forward during his sophomore season in the majors, batting .287/.328/.500 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI over 111 games.

  12. Brock Holt not cleared to return from concussion

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT

    brock holt getty Getty Images

    “Good news, but not as good as it could have been.”

  13. Whatever happened to Khalil Greene?

    Sep 18, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 5.37.31 PM AP

    Khalil Greene was a first round pick compared to Cal Ripken. Then he was a decent and at times excellent Major League shortstop. Then he disappeared.

  14. Even Google is making me depressed about the Braves

    Sep 18, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

    braves logo large

    When you’re mocked by the auto-complete function, you’re pretty much mocked by everything.

  15. Angels scratch Jered Weaver from start after winning division

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Jered Weaver AP AP

    Wade LeBlanc is taking his place, but don’t worry.

  16. Diamondbacks shut down Oliver Perez with “dead arm”

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey AP

    Perez had a sub-2.00 ERA before recent problems.

  17. The A’s nightmare continues

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

    a's logo

    It’s like it’s happening in slow motion and every A’s fan is yelling “nnnnnoooooooo!”

  18. Nationals claim Twins’ Opening Day shortstop off waivers

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Pedro Florimon AP AP

    Pedro Florimon is not a starting-caliber shortstop because he can’t hit, but his defense is good enough to make him a decent utility man at age 27.

  19. Somehow, it keeps getting worse for the A’s

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Sean Doolittle Sean Doolittle

    The only thing more painful than hitting rock bottom is thinking you’ve hit it, only to find out there’s still more room to sink.

Featured video

Angels' 2011 overhaul finally paying off?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3249)
  2. G. Stanton (2548)
  3. A. Rizzo (2320)
  4. H. Ryu (2086)
  5. J. Hamilton (2026)
  1. N. Arenado (1992)
  2. M. Trout (1984)
  3. E. Gattis (1912)
  4. D. Ortiz (1821)
  5. A. Pujols (1775)