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Can the Red Sox keep both Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Valentine?

Aug 14, 2012, 7:24 PM EDT

Adrian Gonzalez, Bobby Valentine AP

It was mostly “no comment” in the Red Sox clubhouse this afternoon after the Yahoo! Sports report stating that Red Sox players met with ownership to try to get Bobby Valentine fired as manager.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty has the quotes:

“I just want to play baseball, man,” Dustin Pedroia said, declining to confirm or deny Jeff Passan’s report.

Adrian Gonzalez, the reported ringleader, admitted to a meeting, but when asked if he was trying to get Valentine fired, he said “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He went on bash Passan’s article: “I’ve never seen that guy in our clubhouse before. He doesn’t know what’s going on with us.”

Red Sox upper management must not believe that things are quite as bad as Passan presented, given that the team neither fired Valentine nor weighed dealing Gonzalez when the Dodgers came calling before the trade deadline. The meeting happened last month, so the Sox could have parted ways with Gonzalez if they thought he was a driving force in a clubhouse full of malcontents.

Of course, there are two other possibilities: things really are that bad and upper management either just doesn’t realize it or is divided on what to do about it. That division does seem to exist, after all; it’s why Valentine, Larry Lucchino’s choice, got the job when GM Ben Cherington reportedly preferred Dale Sveum and Gene Lamont.

On the plus side, at least the players are now united in a common cause. Score one for Bobby V.

  1. EK Ohio - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Adrian nailed it with his comment. Passan is nothing but a two-bit gossip columnist. Yes, the Sox are a mess, but Passan revels in the sniping rather than figuring out why the players and manager are both underperforming. He’s a hack.

    • bigleagues - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      The manager is NOT under-performing. He may not have been the right fit . . . but the Sox need only look to their two aces with whom the Red Sox are a robust 16-27 in games which they have started this season.

      If they perform anywhere near their career averages, this team is not only in the Wild Card hunt they’d be pounding on the Yanks back door.

      No, there needs to be wholesale personnel changes. And that will unfortunately have to wait until the off-season.

      • EK Ohio - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        Maybe the two aces (and other starters) are underperforming thanks to Bobby V terrible bullpen management and Bob McClure’s poor handling of the pitchers. You think they can just will themselves to better performances?

      • bigleagues - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        EK Ohio,

        Please just stop now.

        Valentine has done WONDERS with the bullpen, to suggest otherwise is to admit you don’t know what you are talking about.

        Also, Beckett and Lester went 2-6 last September . . . so the problems with them predate Valentine.

        This is a personnel issue. It will need to be addressed in the off-season at this point. Although I’m not confident that the ownership understands this yet.

      • mgdsquiggy17 - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        Really EK? You’re going to blame the coaches for the fact they haven’t pitched like they are expected or paid to pitch like? This is just ridiculous…

      • EK Ohio - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:59 PM

        Leaving all your starters in too long is good bullpen management? I guess it is back to t-ball for me.

      • taxed00 - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:15 PM

        EK you have lost the plot. The Sox bullpen has/had a bunch of complete no-names (Atchison, Padilla, Albers, Hill) and for a good 2 to 3 month stretch they maintained a bullpen ERA below 2. That was solely due to great matching up of his pitchers by Bobby V, how many other bullpens in the league put up performances like that without a single all-star reliever? Remind yourself that neither Bard nor Papelbon nor even Andrew Bailey has pitched a single inning for that ‘pen this year and they are performing better than last year.

      • sabatimus - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:29 PM

        I despise Valentine, but I cannot help but concede the point about the two “aces”…

      • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM

        The losing is not Valentine’s fault, but the lack of cohesion and the fact that the players hate him, is his fault.

        Why do people think he didn’t manage in the majors for a decade? Because he has pissed of people every where he has managed, he’s a self serving jackass that is far more worried about Bobby Valentine than he is about anything else….he is 62 yrs old and has always been this way…why in the world would anyone expect him to change now? Expecting that isn’t fair to Valentine.

      • rarson - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        Was one of the “wonders” of the bullpen when he somehow went through two pitchers in two innings to bring in a position player pitcher that couldn’t pitch in a little league game when they were in extra inning against the Orioles?

        Sorry, blame the players for sucking all you want. Blame the aces for pitching like ass. And blame Valentine for his part. And while we’re at it, blame the team management and ownership for some really questionable decisions, too. This team is a mess from the top down, and regardless of the players, Valentine is part of the problem. Every time I watch a Valentine press conference, I cringe.

      • bigleagues - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        rarson,

        Sure . . . let’s take an unfortunate situation that arose during one extra inning game and cast that as the centerpiece of Valentine’s use of the bullpen. That makes perfect sense.

        Does Valentine have a part in the Sox miserable season? I’m sure that can be said. Does your two supposed top pitchers have a larger role in it? That’s my contention – since they are the ones actually toeing the rubber 2 out of every 5 days.

        We can always nitpick individual incidents out of a season that irk us, however taxed00 elaborated nicely above on my point regarding Bobby and his aggregate bullpen management. And I’ll leave it at that.

  2. kkolchak - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    “GM Ben Cherington reportedly performed Dale Sveum and Gene Lamont.”

    That sounds vaguely dirty.

  3. bloodysock - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Adrian has six years and $127 million left on his deal while Bobby V has one season and much, much less $ left. A question not worthy of a headline.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      Honestly doesn’t even matter the $/years, when it’s a case of player vs manager, it’s almost always the manager that gets let go.

      Not saying it’s right, just usually what happens =\

      • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

        Plus, players of Gonzalez’s skill are rare….manager’s are largely fungible, and Valentine isn’t as good as they are. If they choose to trade Gonzalez because he doesn’t like Valentine, they deserve what comes after.

    • ptfu - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      Adrian Gonzalez had a sterling clubhouse reputation in San Diego. Never complained about the losing, or other head cases on the team, or the home park that so badly suppressed his numbers. He had a flippin’ ton of trade value and could easily have badmouthed his way out of town. Has he turned into a whiner since moving to Boston? (this is not a rhetorical question)

      Adrian must be REALLY upset if he’s leading the charge to management. If someone like him can’t deal with Valentine, that’s a big problem–whether Valentine is to blame or not.

      • bigleagues - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:23 AM

        Yeah . . .or because San Diego has a fraction of the blood thirsty media outlets that Boston has and baseball their team isn’t quite as big a deal as the Sox are to Boston and NE . . . then perhaps any clubhouse issues that Gonzalez had never bubbled to the surface like they tend to do in Boston whenever there is trouble in the Fens.

  4. xpensivewinos - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Adrian sure complains a lot for a guy way under-performing on his contract whose philosophy is, “it’s God’s will.”

    Shut up and hit some home runs, jackass.

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM

      Adrian has underperformed for half a year during the past nearly 2 years. have you seen what this guy has done since the all star break?

      • taxed00 - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:17 PM

        Actually, he was subpar in the 2nd half of last season too, so technically he’s only actually performed for half a year (the first half of 2011). There’s only been, what, 30 games since the all-star break? This hot streak could easily fade again by the end of this season

      • skeleteeth - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        @taxed00

        .317/.404/.489/.893 10HR 40RBI in 2011 second half. Production surely was down from first half but as I recall there was not much offense outside of Ellsbury throughout and Scutaro in September.

        .294/.388/.485/.873 13HR 45RBI in 2010
        .311/.432/.586/1.018 16HR 47RBI in 2009
        .285/.385/.520/.905 14HR 48RBI in 2008 and similar in 2007

    • skeleteeth - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Under-performing?

      .393/.435/.654 w/1.089 OPS since All-Star break…

      and

      “Including his numbers from 2011 and this season, Adrian Gonzalez is batting .326 with 40 home runs, 197 RBI, 81 doubles and a .906 OPS in 1,201 plate appearances for the Boston Red Sox.”

      • wendell7 - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:07 AM

        I wish the rest of the team would underperform like that

  5. pisano - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    I have a feeling the runt of the litter (Pedroia) is stirring the pot against Bobby V. Pedroia never got over the ass chewing he and his teammates got from Bobby when he came on board for their under performance. The feeling is Bobby will be gone soon.

    • baseballisboring - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      I smell a Showtime series…

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Boston management needs to show who’s in charge. Right now the players think they are. I think trading Pedroia and/or Gonzalez would be a pretty good way to show who’s still in charge of who.

    • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      It would also be a pretty good way to severely reduce the amount of talent on the roster.

      It isn’t like Valentine isn’t famous for burning bridges and pissing people off, he has done that everywhere he has went…and was so bad in Japan that they finally just fired him even though they were always winning.

      Managing baseball teams requires a decent set of people skills, something Valentine completely lacks.

      • mella21 - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:04 PM

        so you’re just going to keep firing managers until the players get someone they feel like playing for?

        Honestly, sometimes you just have to do your job. It doesn’t matter how things were done under Tito, there’s a new sheriff in town and Pedroia/Gonzales’ job is to do their best despite whatever obstacles they face in a season. If the manager needs to be fired, how about giving your opinion after the season is over? That whole “Thats not the way we do things here…” was BEYOND out of line, And I don’t even like Valentine.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        “Pedroia/Gonzales’ job is to do their best…”

        I’d say they”ve done that. Pedroia has displayed his usual all-or-nothing compete level and has done so this year through injuries. Gonzalez has been on a tear since the All-Star Break. Slow starts happen and I’m willing to give a player with Adrian’s raw talent the benefit of the doubt.

        And you say Pedroia’s comment was out of line? I say calling out a player through the media and questioning the amount of effort he’s putting into the game is what’s actually beyond out of line. Pedroia stuck up for his teammate who got thrown under the bus. Good on him.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:25 AM

        Paper, what do you suggest then? The Sox players think they run the show now. Fire Valentine and it reinforces the players opinion. They gotta dump someone who matters to show who the boss is now. It wont be popular, and it may set them back a season or 2 but right now they need to regain control. They aren’t good enough to win it all next year anyways so nows the time.

      • paperlions - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:46 AM

        I don’t see how people get from “RS players hate Valentine” to “RS players think they can run the show”. All RS players seem to want is a manager that is good at his job, a large part of which involves not saying dumb shit to the media so that they go chasing down players to get quotes. What Valentine said about Youk earlier this year is about the worst think you can say about a player. Valentine completely undermined his own authority by saying Youk was mentally or physically invested in the team. Players need to be able to trust their manager, few RS players trust Valentine and it is completely Valentine’s fault. He’s an arrogant, disingenuous, self-serving ass hat.

        In any profession, when you boss is all about himself….everyone that works for him knows it and dislikes working for him. Valentine looked like a horrible choice, and he’s done nothing but prove people that thought that right.

    • mickeylolich1968 - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      Today the Boston Red Sox management made their bold move to show their spoiled, entitled, players exactly who is in charge… they traded Kelly Shoppach. Oh yeah, that will send a message. And if that is not enough to get the point across, just you watch, Nick Punto and Clayton Mortensen will go next.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        I think it’s interesting how many people take the side against the players at times like this. I’m not arguing either side (not in THIS post), but I find it interesting. I would think regular people would relate more to labor than to management, but — in sports, at least — that’s clearly not the case. I wonder why that is.

        If anyone can explain this reasonably (hint: you’re being unreasonable when you use the words “class warfare” in close proximity to each other), I’d really like to hear it.

  7. randygnyc - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    EK- you can’t call the reporter a hack when he gets the story right. He broke the story about the players refusing to play for Valentine during a “heated” meeting with management/ownership in NYC.

    From what I get from all this is that Pedroia is the cancer. I expect that the Sox will continue to struggle as long as he’s on this team.

    • EK Ohio - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:56 PM

      This story has been out there since late July. Passan just made it more sensational – http://blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2012/08/14/bostons-blame-game/

    • protius - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:43 AM

      Pedroia made it possible for the players to feel comfortable criticizing their manage when he publicly criticized Valentine for questioning Youkilis’ desire. Valentine is the authority figure, whether Pedroia likes it or not.

      Some Red Sox fans would have us believe that Dustin Pedroia is a team leader. Well, if you look at the organizational chart; a team leader comes from the players ranks.

      Bobby Valentine was hired as the team manager; the team manager is above the team leader in responsibility and authourity. Team leaders who stab the authority figure in the back aren’t team leaders at all; they’re untrustworthy, little cock-eyed assassins.

      Pedroia is the poison in the clubhouse, and he should be traded to the Houston Astros for a laundry basket of sweaty jocks, and a bucket of tobacco spit.

  8. frankiefiveangels - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Bobby Valentine is not a very good manager but he walked into an ambush by accepting this job. He never had a chance managing this team. The Red Sox players (and some in management) are the most pompous, self entitled, whiny, bitchy little douchebags in pro sports. They are accountable for nothing and blame umpires, the weather, inter league play and every damn thing thay can think of to explain their failures. Screw Pedroia, Gonzalez, Ortiz and the rest of the junta on this crew of blowholes.

    • mgdsquiggy17 - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      adjectives aside I do agree..

  9. cambodianbreastmilk - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    If Boston can’t get past the Yankees this weekend, Valentine is gone.

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      Well… I wouldnt go that far, I dont think they literally can pass the yankees by the weekend. If they are totally out of the wild card hunt though, Valentine is fired at the end of this year for sure

  10. randygnyc - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Bigleagues- I suspect the problems are bigger than what the fans know and ownership CAN’T solve these problems overnight. Add to that the ego of those involved in assembling this team, they’d have to admit they’ve made some huge mistakes. Apparently, 17 players were at that meeting insisting Valentine be fired. Ownership then publicly announced it’s support of valentine. Interesting question, who were the 8 players who didn’t join the rest of the team?

    • rollinghighwayblues - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      “who werethe 8 players who didn’t join the rest of the team?”

      Probably the eight people who have realized that blaming Bobby in pow-wow fashion is childish, foolish, egocentric, ridiculous, and totally dumb as shit. Bobby hits fungo and writes names on lineup cards, he essentially has zero power in the outcome of a game when it comes to on-field performance. The Red Sox players could, ya know, be adults about their piss poor performance throughout the entire year and try to finish up the last two months in a “respectable” fashion, assuming that’s possible to be portrayed by everyone watching.

      All in all, the Red Sox should probably be thanking their lucky stars they even hover around the .500 mark because in reality, they’re a pretty embarrassing team. Seriously, for the rest of the season, nobody will be shocked when they look at a box score or a person tells them that a Red Sox starting pitcher has given up six plus earned runs. That’s pathetic.

      • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

        I bet they are the 8 players that could best be characterized as “just glad to be in the majors”.

  11. EK Ohio - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    For what I can tell for many of you, the Sox should just sell everyone for pennies on the dollar and start from scratch for the sake of “chemistry”. It is a wonder why you all aren’t in some team’s front office.

  12. sawxalicious - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    At the end of the day, the players are the ones that need to perform on the field. I am NOT a Bobby V fan, but I can’t think of any blatant recurring managerial decisions he’s made that would point to him as being the cause of Boston’s W/L record. Replacing him because of the team’s performance thus far would be like putting a new transmission in your car in hopes it would fix a flat tire….

    • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM

      True, but that implies that there is only one problem, when there most likely are two….and one of them is the attitude of the manager toward his players.

  13. EK Ohio - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    You want to fix this team? Fire Valentine and most if the coaching staff. Hire John Farrell if you can. If not, hire somebody young (for a manager) and a good pitching coach. Trade Beckett, release Lackey as a sunk cost. Build around Pedey, Middlebrooks, Adrian and either Iglesias/Boegaerts at SS. Field offers for Ellsbury for a starter. Resign Ross and play Kalish in CF. That will make 2013 and beyond much brighter.

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      Ross would be a gross overpay if the Red Sox got him and all reports show that Kalish is not a full time CF. Why release lackey and ALL of that money when you can at least get something out of him as a pitcher or even absorb 90 percent of the moeny in a trade? In that case at least they get SOMETHING from him. And what about the coaching staff? Why throw them under the bus too, just curious.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:50 PM

      Get rid of Beckett any way you can. Let Lackey play out his deal. Shift him to the ‘pen if need be. Resign Ellsbury if it is at all possible. Everything else you said I agree with 100%.

  14. hammyofdoom - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    For what its worth Pedroia, Gonzalez and Ortiz all met with Bobby before the game and looked pissed due to the report. The are all “no comment” to the media because right now they despise the media. Shit, Bobby kissed Pedroia on the neck for cryin’ out loud

  15. eric174 - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Not sure what planet the writer of this article is on.
    Adrian Gonzalez isn’t being traded. If it’s even accurate that the Dodgers were interested in trading for him
    they were told no.

    What is the point of this post exactly?

  16. randygnyc - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Ek, come to think of it, since when are journalists supposed to solve other peoples problems, rather than to just report them. Your initial comment has bothered me since you posted it. Ignorant on every level.

  17. ndrocks2 - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Let’s check around the league and see who draws more interest from othe teams Adrian Gonzalez or Bobby V…

  18. randygnyc - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Paper- I agree with your assessment except the idea that the players hating valentine is his own fault. I think these particular players were going to hate any manager that was brought in because they didn’t like that Tito was unceremoniously fired by the pompous ownership group. Because Bobby is universally disliked, it has made it easier for this group of Diva players to sell this perception.

    • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      True. But that just sets the bar higher for Valentine in his challenge to get everyone pulling in the same direction….he knew that (or should have known it), but he didn’t make any adjustment to the situation, he went in with his same bombastic napalm approach. Just like players need to make adjustments…so do managers.

  19. micker716 - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    What am I missing? Wins and losses are the bottom line, right? What is the upside to keeping Valentine? Do you believe the Red Sox can win with Valentine as the manager? I don’t.

  20. jolink653 - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    This team has no one to blame but themselves for the situation they’re in…If they hadn’t gotten so lazy and complacent last year they wouldn’t have blown their Wild Card lead and Francona would still be the manager…Bobby goes in there with a hardline no nonsense attitude to try and inject some discipline into the clubhouse and rather than trying to buy in they all rebel and cause problems the whole year…And not only that they completely disrespect the entire chain of command by going around the manager to the owner rather than speaking proactively with Valentine to try and make things better…I’m sure they’ll let him go and continue to allow the players to dictate what happens in there but they should really consider trading one of these guys to let their players know exactly who’s in charge

  21. henryd3rd - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    Terry Francona must be one of the happiest man in the world. He’s also one of the classiest. Not once has he spoken ill of the Red Sox even after they trashed him in order to justify his firing. Leaking tid bits about his personal life as well as his physical issues was so out of line; but yet Francona never once to a shot a Sox management. Just once I’d like to hear him say just how he feels about the current Sox situation on one of those ESPN broadcasts. No way will that happen; but I know inside he must be smiling

  22. allbucdup - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    If this was only 1 or 2 guys okay.., it’s just a squabble. The fact that it is 13, over half the roster, and some names are being included as people who have never spoke out about managers is the most alarming of this. As for the 8 who didn’t, I’d peg the role fillers and bullpen guys as the majority of those. I can’t see the likes of Ciriaco, Kalish, Punto, etc. being in that group mostly because they don’t have anything to base it on.

    Valentine shouldn’t be fired for the teams performance. However, he should be fired for losing his clubhouse because he can’t shut his yap to the media. He is a complete liability to the organization in all aspects because of that.

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