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. Rangers designate Neftali Feliz for assignment, activate Matt Harrison

    Jul 4, 2015, 12:58 AM EDT

    Neftali Feliz Neftali Feliz

    In a shocking move, the Rangers designated Neftali Feliz for assignment to clear roster space for Matt Harrison.

  2. Coco Crisp is dealing with kidney stones

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:45 PM EDT

    Coco Crisp Coco Crisp

    Base Ba’al has no mercy for Coco Crisp.

  3. Report: Mets willing to “overpay” to acquire Ben Zobrist

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Ben Zobrist Ben Zobrist

    The Mets are VERY interested in Ben Zobrist.

  4. The Mets have discussed, but decided against, calling up prospect Michael Conforto

    Jul 3, 2015, 10:10 PM EDT

    Michael Conforto, Barbaro Arruebarruena Michael Conforto, Barbaro Arruebarruena

    The Mets are getting desperate for runs, but aren’t ready to rush prospect Michael Conforto just yet.

  5. Miguel Cabrera exits Friday’s game with a calf injury

    Jul 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    DETROIT, MI - JULY 3: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers leaves the game with trainer Kevin Rand during the fourth inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 3, 2015 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Miguel Cabrera suffered a calf injury after a single in the fourth inning on Friday against the Blue Jays.

  6. Patrick Corbin to start for the Diamondbacks on Saturday

    Jul 3, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Patrick Corbin Patrick Corbin

    Patrick Corbin will complete his long trek back to the major leagues when he starts against the Rockies on Saturday.

  7. Josh Reddick expressed unhappiness with his playing time in a radio interview, then apologized

    Jul 3, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Josh Reddick Getty Images

    The Athletics haven’t used Josh Reddick much against left-handed starters. Reddick isn’t too happy with that, despite his results against southpaws.

  8. Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon to miss two months due to hernia surgery

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Jameson Taillon Jameson Taillon

    Jameson Taillon was getting pretty close to returning to action for the Pirates, but an inguinal hernia has knocked him back on the shelf.

  9. Cubs acquire Clayton Richard from the Pirates for cash considerations

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Clayton Richard Clayton Richard

    The Cubs acquired Clayton Richard from the Pirates and he’ll start for the club on Saturday.

  10. The Blue Jays are interested in Jeff Samardzija

    Jul 3, 2015, 3:52 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija AP

    Both he and the White Sox have disappointed this year, but he could help a contender.

  11. The Tigers have designated Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny for assignment

    Jul 3, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Joba Chamberlain Getty Images

    Chamberlain has posted a 4.09 ERA and an ugly 1.682 WHIP in 30 appearances this year. Gorzelanny has been even worse.

  12. Travis Ishikawa designated for assignment by the Giants. Again.

    Jul 3, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    travis ishikawa getty Getty Images

    He’s only had six plate appearances since being recalled in late June.

  13. Yovani Gallardo extended his scoreless innings streak to 29 and a third

    Jul 3, 2015, 9:11 AM EDT

    Yovani Gallardo Getty Images

    He has a 2.56 ERA and a 72/31 K/BB ratio over 102 innings on the season.

  14. The Braves get a walkoff win against Max Scherzer

    Jul 3, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT

    Cameron Maybin Getty Images

    He wasn’t hit hard, but the Braves hit ’em where they weren’t.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Moore (3454)
  2. J. Hamilton (3381)
  3. J. Ellsbury (3174)
  4. M. Cain (2998)
  5. M. Sano (2941)
  1. H. Ramirez (2765)
  2. J. Fernandez (2573)
  3. P. Corbin (2558)
  4. B. Harper (2496)
  5. C. Dickerson (2431)