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Red Sox fire pitching coach Bob McClure

Aug 20, 2012, 6:47 PM EDT

Bob McClure Getty Images

The Red Sox are on to their third pitching coach in two seasons after firing Bob McClure on Monday.

McClure served as a pitching coach for the Rockies and Royals before being hired to replace Curt Young last December. Young lasted just one season after taking over for John Farrell, who left Boston after the 2010 campaign for a job as Toronto’s manager.

Replacing McClure is Randy Niemann, who was already working as Boston’s assistant pitching coach. Niemann spent the previous two decades with the Mets and worked under Bobby Valentine in New York for a time. It’s his first gig as a team’s primary pitching coach.

Under McClure, the Red Sox rank 11th in the AL with a 4.30 ERA this season. They were ninth in the league at 4.20 last year.

  1. pinkfloydprism - Aug 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Patiently waiting for the domino effect to commence!

    • j0esixpack - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Precisely. No one is saying the pitching coach is the cause of their ills… It’s just the Sox brass putting EVERYONE on notice that their job is on the line, and starting with the pitching coach makes the most sense given the pitchers’ performance.

      Sadly some will mistake this as a “scapegoat” situation but in reality it’s the start of a house cleaning move that more or less started when they only gave Valentine a two-year contract and knew there were limited caliber free agents on the market this past offseason.

      I don’t think it’s coincidence that his contract and John Farrell’s both expire at the same time.

      Farrell is more of a player’s coach but I think the team needed to experience a Bobby V. before they’d truly appreciate another such coach, lest anyone forget the chicken and beer.

      Everyone will try to keep cool about it but the Sox have to be thinking a trade for Farrell or perhaps an upgraded non-lateral move to bring him to the Sox.

      All that may be easier said than done but one has to think thats what this is the beginning of.

      • pinkfloydprism - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:25 PM

        There is no doubt in my mind that Farrell is the next guy for the job. It is just going to suck having to watch the in-between time…

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

        And what makes you thing that Farrell wants anything to do with the mess in Boston?

      • j0esixpack - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:04 PM

        My proudcanadian friend… There are actually some bigger baseball markets than Toronto… Boston being one of the biggest, most historic, and one of the most lucrative.

        … and what makes you think Toronto will be offering him an extension for that matter. It seems to me half the Toronto fans wouldn’t mind seeing a change at manager themselves.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:51 PM

        Boston is still a mess with too many underachieving overpaid players, a luxury tax ceiling, back stabbing by players and unnamed executives, a second rate farm system, plus a rotten press corps and disgruntled fans. Doesn’t seem to be a prize to me. Valentine only went after the job because he wanted to be a manager again.

      • j0esixpack - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM

        But on the plus side, it’s not Canada!

        Sorry, I couldn’t resist! I’m actually very fond of Canada!

      • delchef9 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:58 AM

        I agree with the canadian this time….who wants THAT MESS in Boston…….He would pprobably rather go to Houston 1st!!

      • earlnash - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Next step?

      • pinkfloydprism - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:30 PM

        Well, ProudlyCanadian, from what I remember he was fond of Boston while here. The players liked him too. So, not saying he wants it, like you think I am, I was saying that he is the person they will target once his contract expires.

        Plus, maybe he hates getting paid with monopoly money and $2 coins.

    • earlnash - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Another domino?

      • j0esixpack - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:02 PM

        I don’t think anyone actually thinks Cherrington has the final say right now… Nor do too many Sox fans think the team should have thrown more money chasing mediocre free agents this season

        Most fans knew this was a stop gap yea but just didn’t expect the pitching to be this bad.

        If the Sox want Ferrell though perhaps firing Cherrington will allow them to assert that Ferrell would have more authority here and Toronto could not prevent him from leaving as it would be a non lateral move.

  2. cackalackyank - Aug 20, 2012 at 6:59 PM


    • uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      Exactly !

    • hittfamily - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:09 PM

      He must have sent a message to Cherington on Gonzo’s phone.

      • cowboysoldiertx - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:57 PM

        Someone had to get the ax. It was the wrong man. Bobby V is garbage!

      • earlnash - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    • bigharold - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:43 PM


      Hey, .. somebody has to swing over this season.

      The RS pitching reminds me of the line from Dean Wormer in Animal House;

      Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      How could he not be fired? The pitching staff is a mess and he’s not communicating with his manager.

      Scapegoat or not, he had to go.

  3. chill1184 - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Note to Red Sox

    When your rebuilding your club one of things to do is to create stability. You’re doing it wrong.

    • tfbuckfutter - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      More Important Note to Red Sox:

      When you’re rebuilding….ACTUALLY recognize you’re rebuilding and, you know….rebuild.

  4. hittfamily - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Matthew, I don’t know if you have any control over the ad space sold on this site, but it’s freaking dinnertime bro.

    • captaincougar - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM

      That awkward moment when you realize that those banner ads are personalized based on your own browsing habits…

      • hittfamily - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM

        Now wait a minute. I search “greaseless fat ass in thong” a lot, but “cure” is not in my google search history.

  5. cranbery - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Why not do what needs to be done……………tell Bobby Valentine to hit the road!

    It is awful what he has done to the Sox this season. As a fan, I am horrified!

    • yournuts - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      I don’t think Bobby V is done destroying the sox yet. Give him a little more time and they will end up like the Mets.

    • pinkfloydprism - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:27 PM

      It is not him. It is the players that like to take advantage of management…and they do not get as far with him as they did with Tito.

    • ericcgraham - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      What he has done? They starting sinking last September under my favorite manager Tito Francona. Bobby hasn’t torn down a great team.

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:29 AM

      It is awful what he has done to the Sox this season. As a fan, I am horrified!


      Yeah, it’s not like I’ve seen this from the Red Sox before. Oh, wait, last September. It AMAZES me how many Sox fans don’t know where to apply the blame for what is happening to their team. Sure, Bobby may be a douche, but the team is full of underperforming, overpaid, prima donna quitters.

      • delchef9 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:02 AM

        you forgot selfish, whinning, crybaby, back stabbers!

  6. pisano - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    There isn’t a starter on that staff that has any kind on consistency, so what do the Sox do? fire the coach. Gee, you don’t think Bobby V. is next do ya? John Henry should ask the runt of the litter on who to fire next.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      Bobby V. wanted him gone. He was saddled with a pitching coach who never talked to him.

      I hate Valentine (he’s exactly the guy I though he would be), but I’m 100 percent behind this move. If you’re going to have a manager, you need to give him a chance to succeed.

  7. royhobbs39 - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Too many responses…

    A) So it was all his fault? Does this mean they make the playoffs?
    B) One less coach to pay? More money for fried chicken and beer!
    C) Does this make it’s way back to Adrien’s cell phone?
    D) Astros scouting Clemens. Red Sox fire pitching coach. All in the same day??? Too much of a coincidence…
    E) The question people are asking all across New England: “How long till the Patriot’s season starts?”
    F) I’m confused…was he the one that signed Lackey?

  8. proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    He was only hired in December! Who hired him? Who wanted him out? I am sure that there will be several leaks coming from the team about this move.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:24 AM

      Well it has started. Peter Abraham is reporting that there is a communication problem between Valentine and the coaches he did not hire including McClure. Cherrington hired McClure. There also seems to have been a dispute between McClure and Valentine regarding Bard. Since Bard had a problem pitching in the minors, I can’t blame McClure for Bard’s performance.

  9. hushbrother - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Is Pete Vuckovich interested in the job? Mike Caldwell? Jim Slaton?

  10. pftcensorssuck - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Sure, fire McClure. Lester and Beckett have sucked since last Sept., before McClure even got there. There isn’t a pitching coach in baseball that can motivate those two prima donna’s. Those two prove the old adage “You can lead a horse to water …”

    Not a huge fan of Bobby Valentine, but all you idiots saying “Fire Valentine!” don’t have a clue.

    He was hired because he had a reputation for being a disciplinarian, then the owners cut his balls off, and the players know this. That led to this abortion of a season and the players laying down, while bickering with each other and with Valentine.

    This is the single worst Red Sox team I have seen in 50 years of watching this team. Wasted talent, wasted money, wasted season.

    • pisano - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:56 PM

      pfc….I think that just about covers it.

    • henryd3rd - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:51 AM

      Now tell me how you really feel! Francona must be one of the most discipline people in the whole wide world of sports. Not once has he said I told you so on the air.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      2001 was worse.

  11. vols84 - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    We’ll take McClure back here in KC. He is good, but Boston is a train wreck.

    • sportsdrenched - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      No, I’m not sure I want him back.

  12. psousa1 - Aug 21, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    He’s rumored to be the leak to Jeff Passan at Yahoo sports about the meeting with some players and owners. Good for Valentine. He had no idea he would inherit such a bunch of weasels. Didn’t Francona say on ESPN Mike and Mike last week that he saw this coming as early as last August when they were still on pace to win over 100 games? From what I read the bullpen coach Randy Niemann worked with the relievers (a great bullpen) and McClure dealt with the starters (except Bucholz and Morales and Dubront get an incomplete) are horsesh1t. After Beckett and Lester would get their asz kicked he would be the first one saying to the media “they really threw the ball well”.

    Youkilis, Shoppach, McClure. At least they are starting to wake up and jettison some of the weasels.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      I think Youkilis was dealt because he was blocking Middlebrooks. Not that we’ll ever know, but that he bickered with Valentine was secondary. Have Middlebrooks and Youkilis on the roster forced Adrian Gonzalez into right field (where he didn’t complain, by the way).

      Gonzalez OPS at first: .862
      Gonzalez OPS in right: .648

      Personality aside, Youkilis was hurting the team in a lot of ways. He had to go.

    • nysoxer - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      I thought McClure should have been sent packing before he was hired! Little Ben signed him, then looked for a manager. A little backwards! Under his watch, All-Star pitchers turned to drek! If only one or two pitchers had problems, you may overlook it. But the whole staff collapsed. When McClure was on leave, Neiman did good. Besides, he’s worked with Valentine before. McClure may have been good in KC because the pitching staff is learning. With the Sox, the staff may know more than he does. I would guess McClure’s pre-gane instructions were: “Josh, you throw the ball to Salty. Salty, you throw the ball back to Josh. And Salty, wiggle your fingers before Josh throws the ball to you!”

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