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Red Sox GM admits that he’s conducting a managerial search this offseason

Sep 27, 2012, 11:32 AM EDT

Bobby Valentine Reuters

At the risk of criminal understatement, it will not be a surprise when Bobby Valentine is fired after the season ends.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t surprising when the team’s GM goes on the radio and says that he’s going to be running a managerial search this winter without first, you know, actually firing the current manager.

Pete Abraham of the Globe caught this on Ben Cherington’s WEEI interview this morning:

“I’d always rather get the decision right than rush it,” Cherington said. “But what we know we need to do is hit the ground running this offseason. One of the things that, as I look back on last offseason, that didn’t go perfectly was simply the amount of time that we spent on the manager search and what that did to the rest of the offseason and I would like to spend less time on it this offseason, that’s for sure.”

Man, if it wasn’t for the fact that by doing so he’d forfeit the $2.5 million he’s owed for 2013, if I was Valentine I’d quit today. And I do it loudly and in such a way as to make clear how jerked around I’ve felt all season.

I mean, no, he hasn’t had a good year by any stretch of the imagination and yes, he has made things worse with a lot of his behavior and decisions, but the manner in which he was used and abused by this team, the front office and the media has been ridiculous. His very hiring was part of some palace intrigue between the team’s president and the GM. He’s been a scapegoat for problems that existed before he was hired and would have been present no matter who had the job. And now his boss is going on the radio and talking about his replacement before he’s even gone.

Because of the contract Valentine has no choice but to sit quietly and wait to be fired, but this really is bush league, unprofessional crap.

  1. danaking - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I lived in Boston and had been a Sox fan for years, but no more. This really is a bush league operation. Valentine only made it worse, but that’s no excuse for this.

    • pinkfloydprism - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      I cannot agree more! I spent 30 years in Worcester, and now I am in Phoenix. The team owners have turned into a joke. I will always be grateful with the 2004 and 2007 WS titles, but right now…they are the laughing stock of the league.

      • 18thstreet - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Among the reasons to be grateful for 2004 and 2007 is that they are remarkable exceptions to 85 years of being a laughingstock. I don’t understand anyone who thought two titles in 3 seasons was a new normal. Baseball doesn’t work that way.

      • realgone2 - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        I’m pretty sure the Bosox are Marlins fans.

      • hojo20 - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        Was in Worcester two weeks ago for my monthly meal of Coney Island hot dogs. Good stuff.

      • stephenolszewski - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        The Indians are still here so we hold the laughing stock title, The Dolans shine that trophy each day

      • pinkfloydprism - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        18thstreet – I am not saying that 2 titles in three years should be the norm. But running the team in an efficient manner should be. Sorry that you grossly misunderstood that.

      • 18thstreet - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        That they were no longer running the team in an efficient manner was clear the moment they fired Tito, and clearer when they thought Bobby V. was the answer to clean it up.

        What we’re seeing now is the residue of what was obvious 11 months ago.

      • pinkfloydprism - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        18thstreet – you are correct. That was the moment that I lost respect for the ownership. Is it a coincidence that everyone that left Boston lately has gone down in flames in some way? I do not think so, and I think it reflects the true colors of the ownership group.

      • therightisalright - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

        Welcome to the Valley but if you are looking for professional baseball you may have moved to the wrong place. Gibby is an intense manager but I am not sure the front office has a clue. The young arms they have brought up late in the season in the midst of the wildcard race have not worked out and have been sent back down. As to Craig’s Bobby V statement “this really is bush league, unprofessional crap” we all just say DUH, you are talking about the Red Sox what else could you possible expect?

      • smallwoodenator - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        Yeah, it’s downright idiocy and unprofessional. MLB should step in and fine Red Sox ownership and Cherington for this ridiculous stuff. Go on the radio and talk about? Some one needs smack Cherington upside the head, IMO. My guess is it doesn’t matter at all if you don’t have a manager for a few weeks in the offseason. Or you could do it the classy way, keep it inside the organization and privately talk with candidates.

    • Victor's Secret - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Definitely feel the same. I’m a Sox fan and think Bobby V has been pretty bad all year (both game time decisions and clubhouse management), but Sox front office has been pretty awful to him. I assume it’s the power struggle of Cherington v. Lucchino v. Henry, but the passive aggressiveness of the entire year has been awful to watch.

      That said — you’re giving up being a Sox fan just because of a couple bad (brutal?) years? The Sox have been pretty good to us this decade. I wish a lot of things had been handled differently by the front office in the last few years, but I can’t really imagine divorcing myself from my fanhood unless they kill a dude or commit something worse than a bad re-org.

      • paperlions - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        I am tempted to feel bad for Valentine….but it seems somehow just that he is being treated by management the same way that he treated his players and coaches this year (with public disdain and disrespect).

      • pinkfloydprism - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        I will not give up on the Sox, but their management is a different story.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. We’ll be sending you your security deposit as soon as possible.

      We’ve been through worse. Joe Wood’s pitching career ending early. Selling Ruth, losing four World Series in 7 games, screwing up integration, losing Tony C., Freddy Lynn, and Pudge. The Gerbil and Grady. 1978. Clemens getting crushed by Dave Stewart over and over, and then winning in pinstripes. Nomar’s injury before the 2001 campaign even started. The 2001 team as a whole. The 2006 collapse. The 2011 collapse.

      If you’re leaving now, please don’t come back. It will make it easier to get good seats for the rest of us.

      • Glenn - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        Spoken like a true Red Sox fan. This is just a bump in the road compared to many other disasters.

    • j0esixpack - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      Bobby V knew exactly what he was getting into. At his age, out of American baseball for so long, he had to settle for a 2 year contract he knew made him more or less a lame duck right from the start, barring taking a mediocre team and over-achieving – which he obviously did not do (and I will write off the post-trade WL record entirely.)

      I’m sure Bobby knew it was no coincidence his contract was the same length as that remaining on John Farrell’s contract, yet he took the job anyway.

      The good news is the Sox management was smart enough to get a guy who wouldn’t coddle spoiled players – ensuring that they would never again take a “players’ manager” for granted like they did with Francona.

      The bad news is that the Sox management didn’t back up Bobby V at times when he should of – but that’s debatable because Bobby V’s tactics aren’t necessarily something management SHOULD be endorsing and clearly his approach to the players and the game leave much to be desired.

      But as a Boston fan who had pretty much looked at the roster on Day One and knew this was not going to be a contending year, and I think the team is better off having endured a year of Bobby V as the the players will surely think twice before getting lazy under a more player-friendly manager in the future.

      So no disrespect to Bobby V from this Sox fan, but if he actually didn’t know what he was walking into, then shame on him.

  2. cur68 - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Is there something in the air in that town? Something that makes otherwise normal, sane people act say stuff in such a way as to cause the MAXIMUM amount of strife? Jeez.

    • pisano - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      cur68…. don’t you feel it’s only right that before Boston hires a new manager they interview yourteamsucks52 for the job? I think he’d be a perfect fit in Boston.

      • cur68 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        So perfect they needn’t interview him. They could just go back on HBT and read, or attempt to read, his glowing body of work.

    • badintent - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:47 AM

      Naa…………. It’s just 300 years of Brit Twit snobbery and yes Charles, they still believe in serfdom.Sox Nation crashed when Damon went to Yankees.. believe it !! Why do you think people there still think Paul Revere was the lead singer for a 60′s pop group.? They should take the entire Sox ownership, management and team and throw them in the “Big Dig”…… next to Hoffa’s corpse.Can’t wait for Jeter to win WS MVP again. NICE

      • bw1980 - Sep 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM

        Sure did. Except for the WS win in 2007. I wouldn’t be worrying about the WS, dope, I would be worried about making the playoffs.

  3. kevinleaptrot - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Wow, I bet he really impressed the sorority girls at the mixer with that! Grow up, Little Ben, grow up.

  4. pmcenroe - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Did anyone hear this on the radio? At the risk of sounding like the voice of reason, perhaps he was saying this in a wryly manner

    • dan1111 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      So by “spend less time on it this offseason” he means “spend no time because we already have a manager (wink wink)”?

      In a situation where the manager’s job was presumed safe, that might nearly make sense. But the joke doesn’t work when everyone thinks the manager is about to get fired. It’s like a death-related joke at a funeral.

      • pmcenroe - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:19 PM

        Yes that is precisely what I meant, but he didn’t have to intended it as a joke rather–this year has been a bust (everyone recognizes that) and hopefully he can spend his time in the offseason making moves to improve the club rather than the day in, day out drama of Bobby V and if/when they will replace him. Either way I guess we’ll find out the answer

    • soxfan79 - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      When I heard it live on the radio, I was confused. I thought I’d missed the first part of the interview or some major announcement. This statement was at the very end of the interview. So, no, I don’t think he was being a smart alec. Also, at the end of the interview, the hosts asked him to commit to another interview next Thursday in case there was any “major announcement” to discuss. Cherington kind of skirted that question.

  5. natslady - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I don’t have much use for Bobby V, but if you’re trying to say he’s being treated without dignity, you’re not helping his cause with a picture of a white-haired man blowing a bubble.

    • number42is1 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Bubble was the name of a clown if i remember correctly.

    • teaspoon1731 - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      I have despised Bobby V from the beginning and will be positively elated to see him go. However, everything that has happened in the front office in the past year (it’s been going on much longer of course, but I’m just considering this year) is really making me hate loving the Red Sox.

  6. vallewho - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    It’s the Red Sox

  7. xpensivewinos - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    They treated Francona like garbage and he won them two World Series, so what did anyone expect with this schmuck Valentine? If Cherington was given the go-ahead to deal Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford and save all that money, you know he now has the authority to fire an idiot he didn’t want in the first place. Valentine’s salary is a deck chair off the Titanic at this point.

    Guess that explains why Tim Bogar made his first appearance this season in Valentine’s office today……………….with a tape measure and color swatches.

    Gonna be a fun off-season……

  8. frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    It’s like the front office has started their very own curse!

    • kevinbnyc - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Curse of the Bam-Tito…?

    • 18thstreet - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      There was never a curse. There was a stupid, racist owner. That was why they lost.

  9. thebadguyswon - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Baby Ben has grown up!! Now he can make his own managerial decision. Wow!

    Who wants cake and ice cream!?

  10. randygnyc - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    If/when Valentine is fired he should beat the living crap out of Cherrington, in the clubhouse, in front of all the players.

    • number42is1 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      With a Metal pipe? in front of his best friends?

    • kevinleaptrot - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Ha! Why wait? He should do it the next time Cherington sets foot in the clubhouse.

      • mazblast - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        Not in public. Then he’d lose his pay for next year “for cause”. Wait a year, collect the money, THEN hire someone to break legs. Cherington for letting him twist in the wind, Henry and Lucchino for bringing him into such a toxic environment.

      • badintent - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:53 AM

        @ mazblast
        You gotta be from Brooklyn South (wink, wink ) You know the drill well. Every tell you about the time we took this guy to the marshes off of Sheepshead Bay and ……………………………. Forget about it !!

      • henryd3rd - Sep 28, 2012 at 5:14 AM

        He’s got 2.5 Million reasons not to lay a hand on Cherrington.

    • foreverchipper10 - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      Wasn’t Cherington opposed to the hiring of Bobby V? Maybe he was onto something.

      • mazblast - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Just because Cherington was right this time doesn’t mean he’s qualified for his job.

  11. APBA Guy - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    I might add that Liverpool is in the drop zone in the EPL also, another feather in the Fenway SG cap:

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/?cc=5901

    • kiwicricket - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Interesting you mention Liverpool…
      Was watching a fly-on-the-wall doco about the players and manager(similar to the Marlins thing). They took a preseason trip over to Boston and hung out in the clubhouse etc. Bobby comes off as utterly obnoxious, who people literally try and escape. As for Henry and the front office? Clueless/passionless, It was like they are running some sort of Walmart. Very interesting insight from a totally different sport. The Hispanic baseball players finding out that half the Footballers could speak Spanish was great to watch. Mr Henry…snappy dresser. Will give him that.

  12. edelmanfanclub - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Im so glad the season is almost over.

  13. Brian Donohue - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I was just on twitter where a guy from the NYT wrote that Bobby V’s in the “estate planning” moment of his tenure; I responded: “he was actually looking into becoming a replacement ref with the NFL but…”

  14. irokkit - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I’ve been attending games at Fenway since 1974. The difference nearly 40 years later is the media. Instead of two stations covering the game and the clubhouse there are 30 stations…full time looking for ratings. While this does not change the job Bobby V. did, it does impact directly the attention it receives. Bobby V fan or Dpn Zimmer affectionado. Its baseball, a boys game with lots of over paid premadonna boys involved. To All Bobby haters, get a life! To folks that speak outwardly about the owners and how you hate. Get over it. To all those who work in the game, find something positive to say and your readers will follow. The words in pen influence all. Its baseball. Its baseball.

  15. yourrealitybites - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Wow, it is so surprising that such a low-class event originated in Boston.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      I lose track — are we over-educated eggheads or low-class thugs?

      It’s so hard to keep track of the stereotypes.

  16. thevauntedchris - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    It’s crazy to think the Boston Red Sox would be putting on a smear campaign/doing something unprofessional/etc to a player or manager being shown the door. I mean, it’s not like this has happened before at all in the past 8 years. Very shocking. Such a classy organization this has been.

    • thebadguyswon - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Exactly…what a bunch of scum. Boston sucks.

      • mazblast - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        Boston is fine. It’s the Red Sox organization that sucks. Like a fish, it stinks from the head on down.

  17. digbysellers - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Hard to imagine how any respectable manager would wanna head off to manage this steaming pile of cow flop next season. way to keep it classy front office knucklebuns.

  18. bobwheel - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Bobby V jerked around? Hardly. He knew exactly what he was walking into, and thought he could handle it. The only ones being jerked around are the Red Sox fanbase, and some of them probably enjoy it.

    • mazblast - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      Neither the fans nor the ownership nor the front office had any idea how to handle the on-field prosperity of 2004 and 2007. The front office has reverted to the same back-stabbing, do-what-we-can-to-f***-things-up-so-long-as-the-fans-come-to-Fenway mentality tht characterized the franchise for all those years. The fans have reverted to their old “We love to be sh** on” mentality, too. Some people just can’t handle success.

      Now, I have never, ever been a Bobby Valentine fan. Loud, arrogant, self-impressed know-it-all. This season has actually made me feel sorry for the guy to a point. He’s done nothing to change my opinion of him, but he’s been jerked around and back-stabbed way beyond what any manager should have to endure. He knows his firing is just a matter of time, the players know it, everyone knows it.

      The one I used to respect is Cherington. This garbage shows me that he’s not only not up to the job, but has little or no class to boot. If you’re going to fire Valentine, fire him before announcing the search for his replacement, and if you’re not, don’t announce the search. We know hiring Bobby wasn’t your idea, but show a little more class than Henry/Lucchino. The latter is not that hard to do.

      Ownership and “top” management? What a CF, and I’m not referring to where Ellsbury plays. Henry is an obscenity as an owner, just like he was in Florida, and Lucchino is scum. Let’s just say that if I went to dinner with them, I’d make sure to sit with my back to a wall.

  19. bbk1000 - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    And Cherington never wanted Bobby V. from the start anyway….

  20. badintent - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Call up Penny Marshall , she can do a movie about this Red Sox season……………..wait ! She already did one with Madonna and butchboy Rosie and Tom Hanks, “A league of their own ” Rosie is Lester, Madonna is the owner’s whore and Hanks is Bobby but with a kinder , nicer axe to grind.

  21. pogodog7 - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    As soon as they did not renew Tito’s contract, I knew Boston management were morons. They proved it again by hiring Bobby V. I have been saying all season that the Red Sox needed to keep Tito and if they HAD to get rid of him, the only 2 guys that could manage the Red Sox was Jason Veritek or Curt Schilling.

    Buck Showalter was correct when he said, “I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll,” Showalter told the magazine. “You got Carl Crawford cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter? That’s why I like whipping their butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?’”

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