Remember when the Red Sox introduced Bobby Valentine as the new Boston Red Sox manager on December 2, 2011? Bobby was energetic and excited despite having nervous written all over his face. Maybe he was nervous because deep down he knew what he was getting into when he accepted the job to become the 44th manager in Red Sox history. Perhaps he knew that he was destined to fail before Spring Training even got under way; that the issues in the clubhouse were bigger than baseball itself. Or that his style of managing was like throwing gas on a fire and now it’s exploded into an out of control, all out blaze.
Somewhere through the charred remains of this fragile baseball team, you’ll find a deflated and defeated manager in Valentine. It’s evident that the players have quit on him, referencing to the seven game losing skid and down right free fall that is club is enduring while on the west coast. And now Valentine appears to have thrown in the towel as well.
Friday afternoon, while his club was preparing for a game against the Oakland A’s, Valentine strolled into the ballpark at approximately 4:15, just under three hours before game time. His excuse? He had to pick up his son from the airport. Couldn’t he have had someone with the club do that or hire an outside agency to play chauffeur? His focus and responsibilities should have been with the team, but they weren’t and now it’s evident that Valentine is growing tired of this feeding frenzy that the media has created. The problem is, Valentine continues to give them endless material to further stoke the fire.
Another example of a deflated Valentine was when he answered a question after losing their sixth straight game on Thursday to the Angels. “What difference does it make” is all Valentine could muster up in what was a soft mutter as though he’d just found out his dog died.
Lately he’s been firing back at the reporters grilling him on the latest blunder or lineup decision, a different form of emotion that we never saw from Bobby for the first four months of the season. He even called one of Gordon Edes questions “crazy” and stated that he wasn’t going to answer that.
On Monday morning, Valentine had breakfast with John Henry, principal owner of the Sox. When asked what they talked about, Valentine again took the opportunity to head down the sarcastic route.
“You know you don’t go there. What do you think, we talked about art? Liverpool? We talked about baseball and our team, obviously. Things that he’s concerned with are the things that I deal with.”
Was the meeting a good one?
“I always feel good after breakfast,” Valentine said. “It’s one of my favorite meals.” – courtesy of the Boston Globe
It’s evident that Valentine is tired of it all. He’s tired of trying to make sense of a bad situation in which he can’t do much about. Injuries have plagued this club all season, but it’s also apparent that Valentine has lost control of this ship and he’s now ready to walk the plank.
Fellow writers here at BSI, Steve and Earl both described their angles on the situation. Steve says Bobby is being boiled like a frog, while Earl suggests finding a humane way to end the Valentine and Red Sox fan’s misery. It is now clear that Valentine doesn’t have much more to give. He’s a defeated manager at the big league level and it’s time to end his tenure as skipper of the Red Sox. The players have quit responding to him and the fans know that the only way things will ever get better is to find another manager who can hopefully lead this team. Bobby Valentine is not that guy and now it appears, even he recognizes that.