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. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 1, 2014, 6:35 AM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw Getty Images

    A good day for Clayton Kershaw. A bad day for Cliff Lee, Tyler Skaggs and Eric Hosmer.

  2. Royals could lose Eric Hosmer for month with stress fracture

    Jul 31, 2014, 11:24 PM EDT

    Eric Hosmer Eric Hosmer

    Royals robbed of their hottest hitter after quiet deadline day Thursday.

  3. Cliff Lee placed on DL with recurrence of flexor pronator strain

    Jul 31, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee AP AP

    Cliff Lee has aggravated the flexor pronator strain that has already cost him two months. It’s safe to say that his season is over.

  4. C.J. Wilson expected to return from disabled list Saturday

    Jul 31, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee AP AP

    C.J. Wilson landed on the disabled list earlier this month due to an ankle sprain, but he’s due to rejoin the Angels’ rotation on Saturday.

  5. Winners and losers at the trade deadline

    Jul 31, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett, Ruben Amaro Jr., Ryne Sandberg A.J. Burnett, Ruben Amaro Jr., Ryne Sandberg

    Keeping score in the aftermath of Thursday’s deadline deals.

  6. Dave Dombrowski sent some fun smack talk to Billy Beane after the David Price deal

    Jul 31, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT

    f674aba0893b522acb1e0a3177608bc1 AP

    The arms race between the Athletics and Tigers is just too much fun.

  7. Tyler Skaggs leaves after 4 2/3 hitless innings due to left forearm tightness

    Jul 31, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Tyler Skaggs Getty Getty Images

    Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs was working on a no-hitter against the Orioles this evening before he left his start with forearm tightness.

  8. Athletics will go ahead with Yoenis Cespedes t-shirt night even after trade to Red Sox

    Jul 31, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    b42a3c37d8e650e611bed40b8ce53060 Getty Images

    Yoenis Cespedes t-shirt night is a little awkward now that he’s with the Red Sox, but the Athletics are going ahead with the giveaway anyway.

  9. Tampa Bay news station tweets classless Detroit joke following David Price trade

    Jul 31, 2014, 6:58 PM EDT

    detroit price tweet

    For some reason, FOX 13 in Tampa Bay thought it was a good idea to make a classless joke about Detroit to console Rays fans following the David Price trade.

  10. No ligament damage in Matt Cain’s elbow, but he’s dealing with “loose bodies”

    Jul 31, 2014, 6:16 PM EDT

    matt cain giants getty Getty Images

    Matt Cain’s ulnar collateral ligament has checked out fine, but he’s dealing with “loose bodies” in his throwing elbow and it’s unclear when he’ll pitch again.

  11. Diamondbacks call up former elite prospect Andy Marte

    Jul 31, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    andy-marte-indians-broken-bat Getty Images

    Once upon a time Andy Marte was one of the best prospects in baseball. He cracked Baseball America’s top 15 list in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

  12. Cubs trade James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio to the Braves for a catching prospect.

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT

    Russell_James

    The Braves get their lefty and a venerable super sub. The Cubs get an interesting catching prospect.

  13. Yankees designate Brian Roberts for assignment

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Brian Roberts Getty Images

    Shortly after acquiring Stephen Drew and Martin Prado in separate trades this afternoon the Yankees announced that starting second baseman Brian Roberts has been designated for assignment.

  14. Jared Cosart traded from Houston to Miami

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Cosart AP AP

    Some pitching heading Miami’s way.

  15. Kurt Suzuki stays in Minnesota, signs extension with Twins

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Kurt Suzuki Twins AP

    All month the assumption has been that the Twins would either sign Kurt Suzuki to a contract extension or trade the 30-year-old impending free agent in the middle of his career-year.

  16. The Yankees acquire Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Martin Prado AP

    A super sub at heart who can and will be used at multiple positions by the Yankees.

  17. 2014 Trade Deadline Tracker

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

    David Price David Price

    Recapping all of Thursday’s dealings in one spot.

  18. Cats and dogs, working together: Red Sox trade Stephen Drew to Yankees for Kelly Johnson

    Jul 31, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Stephen Drew Getty Images

    How committed are the Red Sox to blowing up the roster? They just made a trade with the Yankees–the Yankees–sending shortstop Stephen Drew to New York just 39 games after re-signing him to a $10 million deal.

  19. ACES GALORE: The Rays trade David Price to the Tigers

    Jul 31, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT

    David Price David Price

    With Price in town, a guy who one the AL MVP and Cy Young Award a couple of years ago is now the TIgers fourth starter.

Featured video

The Jon Lester-Yoenis Cespedes trade is a win-win
Top 10 MLB Player Searches