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NBC SportsTalk: Was Bobby V. to blame?

Oct 5, 2012, 8:54 AM EDT

CSN New England’s Trenni Kusnierek and I were both on NBC SportsTalk last night, and each of us talked about a little bit of what doomed Bobby Valentine.  Trenni correctly notes that Valentine lost control of the team. I think that happened too and was ultimately fatal to him, the gobs of losses the Red Sox piled up were way less to do with Valentine and way more to do with all of the damn injuries:

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  1. EK Ohio - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Bobby V. was not the cause of the Red Sox terrible season – at least not all of it. You can look at injuries, a distracted ownership, a bad mix of players and what have you. However, Bobby was clear not the solution – or part of a solution – to get the team back on track. The firing had to happen in order for the team to continue to move forward and so far I haven’t heard anyone in the Sox front office lay all the blame on Bobby. In many ways, Bobby’s first (and only) year here was really an extension of Tito’s last year – and that proved that the problem did not entirely like with the manager but deeper issues with the team. Looking at it holistically, firing Bobby is part of the purging needed to get the franchise back on track.

  2. thehypercritic - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Did he lose control of the team? Undoubtedly.

    But in addition to the injuries, their starting pitching didn’t live up to expectations and they got almost nothing from the high leverage relievers which Cherington acquired for Reddick, Lowrie and a couple other pieces.

    How none of this is landing on Cherington and the roster construction is a bit odd.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      How none of this is landing on Cherington and the roster construction is a bit odd.

      How much of it is he fault though? He was stuck with a manager he didn’t want to hire. The main roster was constructed from the previous regime. Yes, Cherington struck out on the Reddick trade, but did anyone see this from him (32 HR!)?

  3. jayscarpa - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    They were over .500 when the Youklis stuff happened and he lost the team. The Red Sox were never going to finish first this year but they should have been a whole lot better.

  4. paperlions - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    I agree with Craig, only about 10-15% of the debacle in Boston can be laid at Bobby’s feet….the problem is that the MOST you can ever lay at a manager’s feet is about 15%. Bobby did just about as bad as a manager as you possibly can, embarrassing his players on the field since day 1, slamming his coaches in the media, failing to communicate with his players, questioning the commitment of the players in the media….he didn’t do a single thing right that was in his control.

    • natslady - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      ^^^^ correct analysis right there. You can only control what you can control and Valentine was terrible at his job. He overcame nada and made things worse.

    • indaburg - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      What formula did you use to get 15% manager blame? By my calculations, it’s at least 17%, possibly even as high as 20%.

      In all seriousness, you’re right about him doing everything wrong. Valentine looked like he was following 101 Ways to Alienate Everybody.

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        I said “about 15%” :-)

    • delawarephilliesfan - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      But then he continues on to say the the Red Sox problems started when they fired Francona. If a manager is 10-15%, doesn’t that apply to Francona as well?

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        Of course it does. Firing Francona was dumb…and not just because of how the players would react to it. Throwing Francona under the bus and spreading rumors that he was hooking on prescription meds just helped further the perception that the RS FO is a snake den.

      • delawarephilliesfan - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        Fair enough, but it still seemed on add dicotomy to say that mangers don’t matter much on the one hand, then was the whole issue on the other.

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        I think manager matter, but they matter for more in the club house, creating the right culture among the players than they do with on field decisions, which is what people usually focus on. Managers have a lot more ability to do damage than good via their in-game management….most of the best in-game managers are the guys that make the fewest decisions….just let the players play.

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      After injuries, Ownership and the FO blew up this team, not BV. BV was just the face of the FO & ownership: their guy (lets excuse Cherington from this: he had little to do with BV). In effect he’s the personification of what Luchino & Henry thought of their ability to win 2 WS: it was their doing and they were gonna prove it. They found a guy in BV who was like minded, talked like they did, acted like they did and they utterly failed to see that what the FO & manager contributed to winning 2 WS was the opposite of that. They’d have all been ok if the injuries hadn’t decimated the team. This would have dragged on for 2 or maybe 3 seasons if the Sox had made the post season this year. It was all magnified though by those injuries and then the losses. I’m glad its over.

  5. sailorborn - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    The Red Sox failures started with the loss of Manny and Jason Varitec along the acquisition of a lot of self centered players who have no idea of the meaning of the word team.

    • natslady - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      Almost all players are self-centered, and most people, too. One thing I learned in business was you have to bring people to feel that what is in your interest is also in their interest. Tell me how any player doesn’t want to have good personal stats and be on a winning team. You start with that. You tell players how that’s going to happen, how you are going to utilize their strengths and help them with their weaknesses. Bobby V was 100% whiner and blamed everyone (including the umps) for him not doing his job, which is to motivate and mold the players into a team (and decide when a starting pitcher is gassed).

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      Can someone explain the Varitek obsession? Is it the fluke of the 4 no-hitters, b/c the pitching staff had problems when Varitek was catching as well, which is conveniently glossed over. Also, this statement is amazing to me. Is this the first time someone is defending Manny as A, not being self-centered, and B, a team player?

  6. chill1184 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Valentine was thrown into a situation that wasn’t going to get fixed in a year. In addition the manager can only do so much, the players do have to play the game. Boston tried a quick fix and like most quick fixes, they dont work

    • natslady - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      I understand your point, but the problem is, V took the job. He wasn’t “thrown into a situation.” If he didn’t like the FO, the owners, the players, etc., don’t take the job. Either he was desperate to get back to managing or he thought he could be a hero and one-up Tito. Neither motive is the right reason to take the job. I don’t feel sorry for Boston having injuries because every team has injuries. And you knew the divas were there before you got there. Bobby thought he could crack the whip and guys would shape up or ship out. Um, sorry, doesn’t work that way.

      • chill1184 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        I think it was more of Valentine wanting to get back in the game after being out of it for so long. Cracking the whip is like flipping a coin, you got a 50-50 chance of it working out in your favor. Just like in any other job, if the previous boss was a laid back guy, then the company usually hires a hard ass to get people back in line. However with the amount of egos that Boston had, it wasn’t going to work as we all here have seen.

    • natslady - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      I was a manager/supervisor for many years and I never saw the “harda$$” approach work unless you had the authority to fire the guy (which I did and I did). Bobby V wasn’t brought in to fire a bunch of guys for non-performance–but he thought he was. That delusion cost him.

  7. hammyofdoom - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Well I think he was a part of the problem, but seriously when you have the most injuries by any team in over two decades, there’s only so much the manager can do. For a 25 man roster the Red Sox ended up using nearly 60 players, that is just goddamn ridiculous. I think part of the reason that Bobby wore so thin was because of the injuries, if the team had at any point gone on a role he would have been a much easier pill to swallow. However, if you have a guy that is a “strict” manager and you suck all year, I doubt anyone will like you

  8. thebadguyswon - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    The best part about the entire BV saga is now the Red Sox have to look in the mirror.

  9. phatnate - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Never been a Bobby V. fan. Don’t like his style. When he was broadcasting on ESPN, he sounded like he wasn’t all there. He should have known that managing in Boston includes dealing with media, which he completely failed at. Never thought his disguise on the bench with a mustache after being thrown out of a Mets game was professional. And I hate the way he argues with umpires, he over emphasizes everything he says so everyone can read his lips, which means he is playing more to the cameras when arguing when he should be arguing to defend his players. It’s all about Bobby V., the players come 2nd, and that is not what you want from a manager.

  10. badintent - Oct 7, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    RIP Bobby, little John(owner) , GM, Red Sox team, Red Sox Nation. Too bad you had seats on the Titanic !Which rats made it off the sinking ship ????

    “The entire team can be on my TV show so I can fire them !”……..Donald Trump

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