Apr 21, 2012, 7:43 PM EDT
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.
May 23, 2013, 6:57 AM EDT
Phillies 3, Marlins 0: Cliff Lee shuts out the Marlins on three hits. Granted, it doesn’t take anyone as good as Lee to shut out the Marlins, but that’s nothing that Lee could help. He was dominant. Just like Benedict Cumberbatch in that scene when he killed all those [alien race redacted to avoid spoilers]…
May 23, 2013, 12:17 AM EDT
This is on the short list of the most horrifying stories ever posted at HardballTalk. An Aramark vendor at Monday’s Royals-Astros game at Minute Maid was caught bringing his tray of snow cones into a bathroom stall with him. Click2Houston.com has the video taken by a concerned onlooker. Remarkably, this happened in the first game…
May 22, 2013, 11:42 PM EDT
OK, so there hasn’t been any actual All-Star ballot results released yet. That doesn’t mean I can’t do my fun little exercise here. What follows is my best guess at the All-Star Game starting lineups. National League CF Andrew McCutchen 2B Brandon Phillips 1B Joey Votto LF Justin Upton RF Bryce Harper 3B David Wright…
May 22, 2013, 11:09 PM EDT
Don Mattingly had some harsh things to say about the club he manages on Wednesday afternoon, leaving many to guess that he might be officially canned at some point during Thursday’s scheduled team off day. But that apparently will not happen. Via the Los Angeles Times: Don Mattingly will be managing the Dodgers on Friday when they open a…
May 22, 2013, 10:01 PM EDT
Josh Rutledge showed signs of promise in 2012 when he hit eight home runs, stole seven bases and registered a .775 OPS in 73 games as a 23-year-old. But the middle infielder has failed to meet the hype so far in 2013 and was officially optioned Wednesday evening to Triple-A Colorado Springs according to beat…
May 22, 2013, 9:13 PM EDT
The Cardinals learned today that Jaime Garcia needs what will likely be season-ending shoulder surgery. And now another starter is in trouble. According to MLB.com beat writer Jenifer Langosch, sinkerballer Jake Westbrook was unable to make it beyond 20 pitches in a bullpen session this evening because of lingering discomfort in his right elbow. He…
May 22, 2013, 8:27 PM EDT
Indians first baseman Nick Swisher was placed on the paternity leave list Tuesday following the birth of his daughter. After getting a few days to spend with his family’s newest addition, he will return to the Tribe’s starting lineup on Friday night in Boston. This according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Swisher, 32, is batting…
May 22, 2013, 7:34 PM EDT
David Freese suffered a gash on his right thumb Sunday when he lunged to tag Norichika Aoki on the left leg during a rundown along the third base line. It was only a minor cut, but he got stitches after the game and has not made an appearance since. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Freese is…
May 22, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Orioles infield prospect Jonathan Schoop has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back and is likely to need 6-8 weeks of rest. He will meet with another doctor this week for a second opinion, but the initial diagnosis probably won’t change. Schoop is hitting .268/.331/.386 with three…
May 22, 2013, 5:32 PM EDT
Jered Weaver threw 5.2 innings of one-run ball in an extended spring training game today, potentially setting him up to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Angels’ rotation next week. Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that Weaver threw 75 pitches, 62 for strikes, and struck out nine versus zero walks.…
May 22, 2013, 5:02 PM EDT
Superman has kryptonite. Matt Harvey has Zack Cozart. Despite being a nearly unhittable pitcher this year, the Reds’ Cozart got four hits off Harvey today en route to a 4 for 5, two-double performance. Overall Harvey had his worst outing of the season, allowing four runs on nine hits in six and a third. One…
May 22, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT
Kinda feels like a lot of Rays farmhands get suspended for drugs: The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Tampa Bay Rays Minor League right-handed pitcher Angel Yepez has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug…
May 22, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT
UPDATE: Las Vegas police issued the following statement: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is currently investigating a Sexual Assault case. Jose Conseco [sic] has been named as the suspect in this investigation. At this time no charges have been filed and our investigation remains ongoing. Per department policy neither victim information or investigation details…
May 22, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Even though they met in the World Series nearly 22 years ago, the Twins-Braves series still stirs up some emotions in partisans of each team. Mostly Braves fans, to be honest, as we are bitter and angry and all of that stuff even more than two decades later. Freakin’ Kent Hrbek. Freakin’ Kirby Puckett. Freakin’…
May 22, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
It’s not often that you see an Opening Day starter sent to the minors, let alone demoted less than two months into the season, but that’s exactly what the Twins just did with Vance Worley. Worley got knocked around for eight runs in 3.2 innings against the Braves today, falling to 1-5 with a 7.21…
May 22, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Adam Eaton was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in March and was playing in rehab games. Then this: #Dbacks OF Adam Eaton has returned to Phx to see doc after having soreness in elbow. — Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) May 22, 2013 Eaton hit .259/.382/.412 in his cup of coffee last year and was…
May 22, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT
Remember how Rafael Soriano called out Bryce Harper for blowing last night’s game by missing a catch in right field? Not surprisingly the Nationals closer took it all back today, telling James Wagner of the Washington Post that the comments came during what he thought was an off-the-record conversation with a reporter. Here’s more from…
May 22, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT
We’re talking phenoms on HBT Daily today.
May 22, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT
Jeremy Affeldt was interviewed about his new book. Which, it seems, reveals the deeply Christian Affeldt to have experienced a transformation on the matter of homosexuality: When Jeremy Affeldt came to the Bay Area as an opposing player, he refused to leave his hotel room aside from going to and from the ballpark. He was…
May 22, 2013, 1:48 PM EDT
Chase Utley was scratched from last night’s game with pain in his right side and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies second baseman is getting an MRI exam. Utley complained of a burning sensation in his rib cage and Salisbury speculates that it might be an oblique strain, which would almost certainly require…
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