Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What Exactly Did Bobby Do Wrong?


I’m really asking.

Sure, he’s made a decision or two on the field that didn’t work out. Every manager does that. But, if you’re in the camp that insists that he needs to be fired yesterday, what exactly are you basing that on? Were you also in the camp that insisted Beckett needed to be traded because he was the cause of all the unrest? Can you be in both camps?

Maybe a better way to ask the question is, “Which qualities are you looking for in a next manager that Bobby doesn’t have?” I understood that after a “player’s manager” like Francona, people wanted a sterner voice. I didn’t really agree with it, but I understood. So, do we now want to go back to another “player’s manager?” Did we decide that Bobby wasn’t the stern voice we needed and want a different stern voice? How much of that is his fault.

Are we asking for a manger that won’t allow text messages to be sent to the front office? Seems to me that ownership would need to be the ones to stop answering the texts, right? Besides, didn’t we already trade away all the players who were complaining to ownership? Shouldn’t that problem be solved? If it’s not, is that something a new manager could fix?

Are we asking for a manager who the pitching coach will talk to? Again, that seems to be more of an ownership issue. They need to hire coaches that will talk with whichever manager is in the chair. If they don’t do that, it doesn’t matter if it’s Bobby Valentine or Dick Williams at the controls. It’s up to the coaches not to lie to him.

Are we looking for a manger that conforms to what the organization wants? It sounds like Bobby has been doing that. He apologized when he joked with players. He didn’t hold infield practice. Or, are we looking for a manager that doesn’t listen to the rest of the organization?

Are we looking for a manager who can win games with players who couldn’t play in AA? That seems to be all that Valentine has to work with these days. Can a new manager win with Pedro Ciriaco as the full-time DH? Which new manager would that be?

Which may be the biggest problem with getting rid of Valentine. Who, in their right mind, would come to the Red Sox? They’ve traded away all their talent. They have no chance of winning next year, but fans will still expect you to. Nobody of any quality will want to do that. Sure, you’ll get a new manager who’s willing to take any job offered to him just to finally be a manager. Is that really a better idea than sticking with Valentine another year?

After all, you’ve already crafted a team in his image. They traded away all the talented players that disagreed with him. Do you really trade away the players who don’t like the manager, and then fire the manager? They fired the pitching coach that disagreed with Bobby. The one that they forced him to have in the first place. So, do you fire the pitching coach you want and go with the one the manager wanted…and then fire the manager?

Or, do you keep Valentine around another year? Do you realize that it’s not his fault every outfielder in the organization was hurt all year? Do you realize that by centering all the attention on him…the media annoys the players a little bit less? Do you stop blaming him for not winning 100 games using a team with no talent left?

In July, everyone was begging for the Sox to “blow up” the team with no plan in place. Just get rid of the players who aren’t winning games. That doesn’t exactly look like it’s worked. So, now we need to fire Bobby V for the same reason? Maybe it’s time to stop using the “blow it up” line like it’s an actual solution or plan. Maybe it’s time to look at things objectively. Maybe it’s time to think before leaping.

Maybe it’s time to see if Valentine has really done anything wrong.


  1. Brad Mills got shafted by the Astros and is available. I thought the world of him and think he could work out in Boston. I'm not really that familiar with the Sox' issues this year and I don't know if there were problems between him and the organization when he left up there but Mills has patience and he knows the Sox' system.

  2. I think the ownership is their real problem - but I also never liked Bobby Valentine. He's a jacka*s and he's getting about what he signed up for.

    I'm not a Red Sox fan, but wasn't the first misstep how he treated Youk - who was obviously respected in the clubhouse? That's a pretty bad way to start off. For all the crap Dusty Baker gets - he's great at handling the players. Seems like Bobby V is the opposite of that.

  3. Didn't he call out Kevin Youkilis for not playing as hard as he could and pretty much lost the clubhouse at that point? That seems like a pretty common reason to get rid of a manager.

  4. Actually, he never called out Youk...despite media reports. He was asked about Youk's legendary intensity. Bobby mentioned that he hadn't seen him kick anything, or throw anything yet. (It was, early in the spring/season) He commented that he had no frame of reference, since it was his first year, so he didn't know if Youk was playing with as much intensity as last year, or not. The fact that Youk took this tame comment as an insult is the real problem. (And, I think, a good sign that he wasn't playing with the same intensity.) Of course, Quotes Pedroia leapt into the fray without knowing anything since Bobby wasn't his good friend Tito. That made the media giddy, and led to the made up "calling out" stories.

  5. Bobby said "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason." I think however he might have meant it, it sure seems like a calling out to me.

  6. The big problem with Bobby is that he didn't have buy-in from the team or the ownership from the start. He's never going to get buy in from the team now, even if ownership had a midseason moment where they decided they should support their manager. Also, he made numerous terrible in-game decisions. Too many for me to count. He was really starting to grow on me, and I know he had nothing to work with, but I personally disagreed with many, many of the decisions he made. I just feel like it was an experiment designed to fail


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