Tag Archives: Bobby Valentine

Should the Red Sox Fire Bobby Valentine?

 

After dropping 3 out of 4 to one of the few AL teams decidedly out of the playoff picture in the Minnesota Twins, the Red Sox currently sit at 54-55 on the season. All year the home town nine have hovered around the .500 mark and still have not played as well as the roster would lead you to believe it could. And now with 53 games left in the season, and the Sox stuck 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot behind three other teams, the inevitable calling for the manager’s head has hit full speed.

Bobby Valentine was hired by the Red Sox a type of clubhouse enforcer who would hold players accountable and not let the inmates run the asylum as they did in the 2nd half last year. However, Valentine has not lived up to the hype, though it’s not particularly his fault. Beginning as early as Spring Training it was clear we were not getting the outspoken and opinionated manager many had heard on ESPN. Within the first couple of weeks Valentine backed off comments made on Sunday Night Baseball last year about Beckett’s pace of play and Crawford’s batting stance. Combine that with the most recent story of someone going behind his back to upper management about a comment aimed to pick up Will Middlebrooks after a tough inning in the field and we can all see that this was not the leadership Larry Lucchino was hoping for.

So should the Red Sox just go ahead and fire Bobby Valentine and begin to try and fix this team the way they should have after last season’s collapse? I will explore several points in favor of keeping Bobby V at the helm as well as why it’s best to just part ways right now.

Why they should fire Bobby V:

  • There is an outside chance that a change of manager could spark the team and maybe propel them closer to grabbing the second wild card spot. It is not an unprecedented event as Joe Morgan was appointed interim manager in a similar situation at the All-Star break in 1988. The team then won 12 straight and the AL East.
  • A lot of talk over the past ten months has revolved around the unity inside the Red Sox clubhouse and whether or not they are a team that actually fights for each other. There is a chance that Bobby is so disliked by the players that just removing him from the team could unite the players more than anything else.
  • As odd as it sounds, firing Valentine right now would actually gain favor towards the Red Sox ownership from the fans. All we have gotten from Henry, Lucchino, and Werner over the past few years are various sales pitches on stupid items like bricks, coffee table books and CDs. It would be a huge step forward for them to come out and admit to a mistake and finally put the focus back on winning baseball games.
  • If Tim Bogar (current bench coach) is someone the Red Sox are interested in seeing as a managerial candidate, this would be a great chance to see him in action. Letting Valentine go would allow Bogar to be appointed interim manager and give the team an extended interview for the open position come November. It is very unlikely that even if Bobby V makes it through the 2012 campaign that he would still be in charge come February, so why not see what you have in Bogar now and perhaps the team will take a shine to him.

 

Why they should keep Bobby V:

  • If the Red Sox do fire Valentine now, there would be the perception that the clubhouse wins and ultimately has more power than the manager. After last season had ended, Francona admitted himself that he has lost some players in the locker room and could not reach through to them for motivation. All season it has been clear that the players do not like Bobby and rarely (if ever) have come to his defense. Even upper management has stranded Valentine alone on an island at times. So by getting rid of Valentine, you give full power to the players to simply force out any manager they do not see fit going forward, which is a dangerous precedent to set.
  • Whenever a manager is fired in the second half of a season, it is can almost be seen as a waving of the white flag for that year. Although the Sox haven’t passed the “eye test” all season, the second wild card spot is not yet entirely out of reach. As I mentioned before, there are some cases where a managerial change could light a team for a stretch run, but that is a long shot and most of the time getting rid of the skipper signals the end of a team’s season.
  • Although Valentine has received a lot of the attention this season, he is still not the biggest problem this team has. Valentine should not get most of the blame for the performances of Lester and Beckett this year or Buccholz’s and Adrian Gonzalez’s first half. The team chemistry was already questionable coming into Spring Training with guys looking for the “snitches” about the fried chicken and beer story being leaked. Valentine is also not the reason for Carl Crawford’s and Andrew Bailey’s always ongoing injury sagas.

 

I personally believe it is best to just fire Valentine right now and see what you’ve got in Tim Bogar. Best case scenario is that the team surges a bit and makes a bid for the playoffs. Worst case they stay around .500 and begin the evaluation process in October. Either way, the Sox should clean house in the off-season and re-build the team’s coaching staff and try to find a way to part with Josh Beckett and maybe even John Lackey.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This Is Unbelievable

No Bobby, thumbs down.

Kelly Shoppach and Darnell McDonald were in the lineup for tonight’s game until about 5:00PM when Bobby V swapped them out for Jared Saltalamacchia and Ryan Sweeney. Why was this change made? Because Bobby V made the original lineup thinking that the Twins starting pitcher tonight, Liam Hendriks, was left-handed. Hendricks is right-handed.

The backbone of the Boston Red Sox baseball operations is statistical analysis and the manager of this team can’t even figure out which hand the opposing starting pitcher throws the baseball with. Are you kidding me? Bobby V has every baseball metric imaginable at his fingertips and he can’t even be bothered to read the most basic information about his opponent? If this isn’t an indication of how out of touch and inept Bobby Valentine is, I don’t know what is.

3 Comments

Filed under Red Sox Rants

Alright, I’ve Gotta Ask It

Will Bobby Valentine finish the season as the manager of the Boston Red Sox?

It’s an absurd question to ask 3 weeks into the season, but if the Red Sox continue their terrible play, the question will become more and more legitimate. It’s hard to believe but the 2012 Red Sox are playing worse than the 2011 club played in September. At it’s core baseball is about scoring and preventing runs so for this comparison I am simply going to use runs scored and runs allowed.

September 2011: 5.41 RS/G and 6.37 RA/G

April 2012: 5.00 RS/G and 6.79 RA/G

The similarity is scary: good hitting combined with terrible pitching. An average American League team scores around 4.5 runs per game. The Red Sox offense has been scoring runs but the pitching staff is giving up around 2 runs per game more than the average.

In 2012, the problem is not limited to one part of the pitching staff: both the starters and relievers have been bad. The Red Sox starters ERA is 5.75, which is good for 12th in the AL (Yankees are 13th at 5.84). Their bullpen is the worst in the AL with 8.44 ERA, nearly a full run worse than the Rays at 7.49.

The Red Sox have and will continue to score runs but if their pitching does not improve they are looking at the their first season under .500 since 1997 and a managerial change for the second time in a year.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maybe That Works In Japan

Cute Little Riding Outfit Bro

Two years, that how long Bobby Valentines contract is and that is how long Bobby V will be warming John Farrell’s seat. Two years is a long time when 9 games into the season Bobby V has alienated Youk, Pedroia, Crawford, and Beckett. To name a few.

I honestly don’t mind how he manages games. Yesterdays issue with Bard, leaving him in too long in the sweltering heat was a bad move but in a 162 game season coaches make many mistakes, I can give him that especially if he owned up to it right after the game. Other than that I love how aggressive he has them on the base paths, I like the hit and run plays, I like the way he manages a game.

But his management of the players is atrocious. They billed him as this hard ass coming into town to clean up Tito’s mess, OK I guess they had to keep up that charade for a while but Bobby V let that get to his already massive head. Managing a Major League club, you’ve got to be able to deal with prima donnas that’s just how it is they have been babied their whole lives. Therefore, you can’t yourself be a freaking egotistical prima donna talking shit about half the team to the media. That’s not cool.

He first pissed me off in February, when he was trash talking the Yankees. OK dude, yeah we have arguably the biggest rivalry in sports with the Yankees but you don’t go picking fights with them before pitchers and catchers even report you friggen clown shoes. That was one of two things. It was either the owners saying “Red Sox Nation (a term I do not love) eats it up when you hate on the Yankees. You’ll have Boston in the palm of your hand if you start off on the right foot and make fun of a play in the playoffs that happened over 10 years ago.” Or it was Bobby V taking the initiative, all giddy that he’s finally back in the majors and not in Japanese baseball and was just talking out of his ass. Both scenarios are totally believable.

Then there’s the well documented feud between Beckett and Valentine, I won’t revisit that saga right now I’ll just wait for the next story to break because that feuds not over, they’re like the Hatfields and the McCoys right now. If you want to revisit it, Wolfie wrote about Beckett and the Limo ride not too long ago.

But now Bobby V goes and questions Youks heart of all things. Listen, even thought I made a quip that Youk was still on his honeymoon; I was joking. Bucky wrote about whether or not we should be worried about Youk, and I agree with him it’s too early in the season to get worked up when the guys in a slump. Hitters go through stretches when they can’t hit the ball at all, that’s one of the toughest parts of baseball that mental aspect. So when your manager goes and tells Channel 7 that he thinks Youks heart isn’t in it, what do you think that does to Youk mentally? It sure as hell won’t motivate him.

Well Pedroia gets it, and it’s good to know there’s players on the team that will step up and have their teammates back. Here’s some quotes courtesy of the Boston Herald.

“Maybe (that works) in Japan or something, but over here in the U.S. we’ve got a three-game winning streak and we want to feel good and keep it rolling.”

He then added, about Youks play and desire, “We’ve got Youk’s back. He’s played his ass off for us for a long time. Anytime he steps on the field, he’s a great player. We’re here to win and win with him.”

I get the argument that you don’t want players speaking out about your coach, some people are saying Pedroia’s out of line. Well here’s my opinion, he’s not. Not in the least. These guys are professional athletes this isn’t Little League, they’re adults. With that said, you don’t show up your players in Little League let alone the majors so cool it dude, they’re playing fine. The fact that Pedroia lashed out about the comments shows me he’s a team leader and a good spokesman for the team when Bobby V talks out his ass.

Leave a comment

Filed under Red Sox Rants

Shoppach to Start Home Opener

I’m at work and have no time to write a word, but I read this article and found it interesting. Beckett seems to like working with a personal catcher and has had poor results with Salty catching him.  The article doesn’t talk about that but it may have something to do with the decision.

NESN- Kelly Shoppach will be starting behind the plate in the Red Sox’ home opener on Friday.

And the move was by design. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Shoppach’s familiarity with the Rays — he played for them the last two seasons — and ability to hit left-handers gave him the nod over starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

“His swings have been on but off,” Valentine said of Saltalamacchia. “He’s fouling off pitches down the LF side most of the time. He’s hit three balls real hard that have been caught. He could be hitting .300 if we were caring about his early-season batting average. He’s doing fine. This isn’t about Salty today.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Game Notes

Nick’s Notes Game #1

Obviously a tough loss. The pink hats have taken to twitter and are already calling this a lost season and are shredding Bobby V’s pitching decisions.  I for one thought there were a lot of positives to take away from the game.

The Good

  • Jon Lester looked great. It was nice to see him match Verlander pitch for pitch after a poor spring. The 3 walks were the only blemish on the day.
  • The team came back. Clutch hitting by Pedroia and Sweeney tied up the game off a pitcher who hadn’t blown a save since 2010.  I loved seeing that the team has some fight.
  • Bobby Valentine’s managing. I thought he made all the right pitching moves. Melancon should’ve started the 9th. That is why we traded for him. People forget this guy had over 20 saves last year for Houston. He was traded to be a set-up man and this is a situation he is going to  have to thrive in if he wants to stick around. I have read a lot of criticism about his quick yank after the two hits. I think it was the absolute right call. The dude has been destroyed all spring and things were not looking any different this afternoon. I though replacing him with Aceves was the right choice. A lot of people say you don’t bring your closer in during a tied game on the road. I counter that with the fact that Aceves isn’t a closer. He could’ve finished the ninth and gone the 10th. I don’t really blame him for his rough outing either. The dude has been bounced from the rotation after a great spring to the bullpen and then was named closer 2 days ago. That is a lot to take in and to adjust to.  Also Salty should’ve caught that ball that hit Santiago.
  • Jenny Dell. Instant wood every time she came on the screen.

The Bad

  • Mark Melancon. Dude just looked awful. He was a big part of our offseason and just has not been impressive. His lack of swing and misses over the spring has to raise some eyebrows. I also didn’t like how he said he thought he was yanked a little quick. Just shut up. I’m sure he hates Bobby V after he publicly mocked him but take the high road and just keep your mouth shut.
  • The offense. I’m not afraid about this teams hitting at all. Just today it sucked. This is to expected when facing the reigning CY Young and MVP winner. Expect the bats to bounce back tomorrow.
  • The Bullpen in general. Bard needs to be in that pen. Padilla has no idea what he is doing out there and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tanks it on purpose. Bleacher Report had him on their list of top 10 club house cancers. I think he should be starting but I’m in the minority. Aceves is a great pitcher and his success as a closer is still TBD. I think he can make a good closer but he is a huge question mark.

1 Comment

Filed under Game Notes

Is Valentine Losing Control of Team or Just Josh Beckett?

So yesterday loud mouth Curt Schilling threw Josh Beckett and Bobby Valentine under the bus on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Schilling said, “The big story yesterday was that Josh Beckett took a limo home from the game [from Bradenton], but the first week of spring training, Bobby V said that everybody has to take the bus.”

This raises the question; Are the players already revolting against Bobby V? I’ve read that sources close to the team have stated that several Red Sox have already expressed their displeasure with the new manager. Obviously no one can prove the validity of those sources, but it does raise eyebrows.  Valentine has already singled out and spoken publicly against Josh Beckett’s behavior last season, something Terry Francona would’ve never of done. Valentine also spoke against Beckett’s slow pace while working as an Espn broadcaster. “That’s a half-hour added to this game of him standing around and us sitting around watching him do nothing,”

Valentine  also has a bad history with OF Carl Crawford. This was taken from the Boston Herald.

[In May 2010, Valentine called a Rays-Angels game for ESPN and criticized then-Tampa Bay left fielder Carl Crawford for having to dive to make a catch on what turned out to be a sacrifice fly. Word of Valentine’s comments got back to Crawford, who told the St. Petersburg Times, “First inning, just getting warmed up, I definitely couldn’t have caught it standing. Everybody knows if I can catch a ball standing, I’m going to do it because I don’t want to get hurt. I can’t believe he said that. Obviously, he don’t know what it’s like to have this kind of ability.” A few days later, Valentine, a standout amateur player whose major-league career was derailed by a compound leg fracture in 1973, returned the jab by telling the same newspaper, “I was probably a little faster, at least a half-step faster, than Carl, maybe a full step.”]

And look out if Valentine mocks another player like he did Mark Melancon after his poor inning. (“I thought he backed up the bases really well. He had that down.”)

It will be interesting to see how Bobby meshes with the team as the season plays out. As of right now everything is fine, but a bad start could change all of that real quick.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized