After the Red Sox finally got a fine outing from Josh Beckett, the first in a while, manager Bobby Valentine took a game the Sox could have won and threw it out the window. If you were unfortunate enough to watch the latest debacle you know what I’m talking about; leaving Beckett in the game after a mound visit when he had thrown 108 pitches. The most pitches he’s thrown since April.
Seventh inning in Texas, game tied 3-3. Elvis Andrus on third, Adrian Beltre on first. Valentine heads to the mound to surely yank Beckett and turn the game over to the fifth best bullpen in all of baseball. But he doesn’t! He leaves Beckett in the game to pitch to Michael Young and subsequently throws a wild pitch that scores the eventual winning run. You can’t make this stuff up. Not even Hollywood could write this script.
After the game Beckett decides he doesn’t want to talk to the media, but rather spend it visiting with family and friends outside the clubhouse. What else is new.
But then Bobby V goes on record and says one of the weirdest, confusing statements I’ve ever heard:
“I wanted to make sure he had enough,” Valentine said. “Last night, [Clay Buchholz] was really sweating, and Josh was hardly winded.”
Pardon me? That’s how you determine whether to leave your pitcher in the game or turn it over to the bullpen? By how much he’s sweating and comparing it to the starter the night before?
Does Bobby understand human genetics and that one person may sweat a little more than the next? Take Alfredo Aceves for example. On a cool April night in Boston and he’s in the game, he’s sweating like he’s riding a bike in a sauna. And take Vicente Padilla who would be sweating if he was outside during a January day in Minnesota.
Maybe the Texas heat was too much for Bobby. Maybe it made him a little light headed and he wasn’t thinking straight. Or maybe he just doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing managing this ball club.
Through the first month of the season I was sympathetic towards Bobby and even thought he did a nice job with the bullpen from May until June. He had his moments when he left the starters in too long, namely Clay Buchholz but he appeared to be getting better at making the move to the pen. He had the run in with Youkilis and he was crucified for it. It’s not his fault, this is a team where the patients run the asylum, not the doctors.
But what he can do is decide to pull Beckett from the game and maybe, just maybe salvage yet another win that could potentially save his job. Rather he makes a trip to the mound to visit Josh, leaves him in, blows the game, then yanks him. Then he tells the media that Beckett was hardly winded where as Clay was really sweating. Knock me over and call me stupid. Unbelievable Bobby, unbelievable.
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