Part of the job of being manager of the Boston Red Sox is joining the afternoon hosts on WEEI once a week throughout the season. Terry Francona did it for years and seemed to generally enjoy himself most of the time. For Bobby Valentine, however, the Wednesday afternoon appearances have been an obvious chore that he hasn’t enjoyed. But in Valentine’s likely final appearance on The Big Show, he dropped a bombshell that after some further thought doesn’t really sound that surprising.
Towards the middle of the interview (which can be found in its entirety at WEEI.com here) host Glenn Ordway asked Valentine about his coaching staff, reminding everyone in the process that Valentine wasn’t given much say in his own staff upon being hired a year ago. Valentine’s answers were short, to say the least.
Ordway: Do you feel the coaching staff and people around you have been loyal during the course of the season?
Valentine: You asked what I feel and I told you what I feel.
Ordway: Do you think these guys have undermined you at times?
Valentine: Yes. That’s what I feel.
Valentine didn’t hesitate to make it clear that he doesn’t feel he had the support of his coaching staff this past season, but didn’t go as far as blaming the team’s failures on that fact. However, it’s still a concerning item to hear from the team’s manager even though there is nobody in Boston that believes he will be back for another season next year.
It’s true that most of the coaching staff was in place before Valentine was named Manager of the Red Sox. Dave Magadan, Tim Bogar, and Gary Tuck have all been in the organization for a number of years and only Bogar took on a new role this past season. The trio had been around for most, if not all of the Francona Era in Boston so it’s entirely possible that there were some differences of opinion along the way this past season. First and Third Base Coaches Alex Ochoa and Jerry Royster, however, were new this season and we already know that the team had to replace their pitching coach mid-season. How involved Valentine may have been in those hiring decisions remains unclear, but it’s safe to say that there was a void in leadership within the clubhouse and much of that continues to stem from Valentine himself.
It’s increasingly more clear that Valentine won’t be back next season and nor should he be. He did state during the interview that he had not yet been approached by anyone in the team’s front office about his future, though at this point that doesn’t surprise. Ben Cherington will likely have that conversation with Valentine tomorrow, when the team returns after their final game tonight in New York. Presumably an announcement will be made public by week’s end. At this point Valentine doesn’t sound like a man who wants to return for a second season, making it clear to Ordway that “it’s not going to be an easy job no matter who’s at the helm”.
Update, 7:36 PM EST: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com is confirming the expectation that Valentine will be let go either Thursday or Friday, though it’s unclear if Valentine will receive an opportunity to save his job or if the final decision has already been made. He also added some further insight into Valentine’s comments from earlier in the day, specifically that Bogar was one of the chief individuals that Valentine had some tension with.