“Fly On The Wall at Fenway”: Why Valentine’s Massacre was delayed [PARODY]


It’s possible that there may have been a rumor that the delay in firing Bobby Valentine was, simply, how to balance the loss created by paying him his $2.5 million for not managing the Red Sox in 2013.

If that were true, a Fly On The Wall might observe this meeting in the Executive Conference Room at 4 Yawkey Way:

JH: OK, gentlemen, shall we begin…our only agenda item is how to deal with the salary due to Mr. Valentine for 2013, which I believe is $2.5 million…Yes, Larry…

LL:    Yes, John, it strikes me that—to allow ample time to find a new manager—we can simply leave Bobby in place for the 2013 season, as a sort of…ah…”caretaker” manager…So, the issue of how to balance the loss of his salary becomes moot.

BC:   I take your point, Larry, and appreciate your idea to give us more time to find our new manager, but I don’t think the problem this last time was a lack of time for the process.  The problem was that the process was flawed.

JH:  Ben’s right, Larry, we were proceeding in an orderly manner with the search, we had interviewed candidates and then you suddenly inserted Mr. Valentine…

LL:  Well, I thought that we needed a guy who could shake up the clubhouse and lay down the law and…

JH:  But respect has to be earned, not decreed

BC:  Maybe we should move on and assume that we will be experiencing a loss of $2.5 million by paying Bobby not to manage the team anymore…

LL:  $2.5 million…that’s a big hole to fill in the budget…

JH:  As I recall, Larry, that was the figure you recommended…

LL:  Well, at the time, looking at comparable salaries and expecting him to accept just two years…

JH:  Are we agreed that Mr. Valentine will not be managing the Red Sox in 2013?

BC:  Yes!

JH:  Larry?

LL:  Well, yes…I guess…he fell short of my expectations…

JH:  Well, that’s two votes of three, a majority, so I do not need to vote.

BC:  Shall we handle this as a simple problem of balancing our books?

JH:  Yes.  Any ideas?

LL:  Well, at a Law office, we would start from the bottom up…

JH:  And…

LL:  Well, a cursory perusal of the organization chart indicates that we employ ten “Executive Assistants,” so we could start there…

BC:  I’m not so sure that is the best way to solve the problem…

JH:  Larry, you have always said that your ideal job would be Commissioner of Baseball…

LL:  Well, I…uh…I…think I could do a better job than Bud Selig.

FLY:  Anybody could do a better job than Selig, but, Larry, you’re not Bartlett Giamatti…

JH:  Well, I was talking to Mr. Lerner about emphasizing “accountability” in the organization; we have always rewarded excellent performance…

LL:  Yes, we have, John and I…

JH:  Well, “accountability” cuts both ways…doesn’t it, Larry?

LL:  Well, I…

JH:  You didn’t think Francona was up to the job any longer, so we fired him.  Now, we agree that Valentine wasn’t performing…how did you put it: he “fell short of your expectations….”

LL:  Well, sure, the principle of accountability demands rewarding good performance and punishing bad performance…so…

BC: But, if we fire ten Executive Assistants, who have acceptable, or better, performance reviews by their supervisors, I think we are asking for trouble…

JH:  Back to that Commissioner of Baseball idea.  Here is a website for you to check out, Larry…

[http://mlb.mlb.com/careers/opportunities.jsp?c_id=mlb]

LL:  Oh, MLB, Commissioners Office?

JH:  Yes, it’s a volunteer position right in the Commissioner’s Office; you would be working near Selig…his staff; that would set you up perfectly!

LL:  You mean, the Red Sox would underwrite me to transition to Selig’s job in 2014…?

JH:  Not exactly

LL:  Well, exactly what do you have in mind, John?

JH:  Considering that we need to balance the $2.5 million loss, paying Valentine to not manage the Red Sox in 2013 and that your annual salary is $2.5 million…

LL:  You mean I don’t get paid for 2013 and 2014? What the hell?

JH: Accountability starts at the top

LL:   But, who would do my job here?

JH:  Nobody.

LL:  Nobody?

JH:  We would assign your routine paperwork to, say, ten Executive Assistants and…

LL:  But, what about executive decisions?  Who will be advising you?  Who will actually be “running” the Red Sox?   I mean, you can’t expect to…

JH:  My General Manager, Mr. Cherington, and I will be running the team.

LL:  Well, that’s not going to work!

JH:  Work?  With a President/CEO, the team finished 69 and 93 and…

LL:  That was Valentine’s fault!

JH:  He was your idea. And please, Larry, let’s not let our emotions interfere with our rational business decision-making process–that’s when things get all messy.

BC:  Um, maybe we all need to accept our share of the blame.

LL:  We were hampered by Theo’s stupid deals with Dice K, Beckett, Lackey, and Crawford…

JH:  Which you approved.

LL:  This is crazy.  So, if I don’t get Selig’s job, I come back here?

FLY: I love these awkward moments of meaningful silence.

LL:  So, is this my last day here?  I’m done?

JH:  Not exactly…

LL:  “Not exactly”?

JH:  Before you leave today, I want you to call Mr. Valentine and tell him that we regret the way things turned out—he was just a bad fit—we put him in an impossible position…

FLY: I love these awkward moments of meaningful silence.

BC: Um, I, um, move to, um, adjourn the meeting. [gulp...]

JH:  Seconded!  All in favor?

John Henry and Ben Cherington raise their hands, as Larry exits in a huff.

JH:  Well, two votes…

BC:  We, um, have a, um, quorum…

JH:  Meeting adjourned!

BC:  It was nice of you to call Mr. Selig and get Mr. Lucchino set up for that volunteer position.

JH:  Well, that’s just karma…

BC:  Karma?

JH:  Yes, since Larry set up his friend, Mr. Valentine–it was the least I could do for him…

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[NOTICE TO LITERALISTS AND MORONS: Whilst the following may not seem funny, it is intended to be humorous. All characters and surnames, images, photos, or graphics appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or undead, as well as souls inhabiting bodies, is purely coincidental.  All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental, and should not be construed. Any resemblance between the characters in this article and any persons, or body, living or dead, is a miracle The author intends this to be a parody of what might have happened, but makes not claim to any knowledge of any real event in the real world.  The content is purely imagined and should not be construed as describing an actual event.  WARNING:  PARODY, JOKE, FANTASY, SEND-UP, HUMOR.]

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