Clearing the Air
Lately, I’ve read a couple of blogs and heard more than one sports radio caller advocate for bringing Bobby Valentine back next season. Their commentary almost always has to do with the idea that the mess that is the 2012 Boston Red Sox is not Valentine’s fault. He inherited a dysfunctional clubhouse. He can’t be held responsible for the rash of injuries that befell this team. He cannot control the fact that the starting pitching staff has been collectively and consistently awful since jump street. You could go on and on.
The fact is that these individuals are largely correct. If you were to slice up a blame pie for this team, Valentine would not come close to getting the biggest serving. But that certainly does not mean he should be at the helm when the Red Sox take the field in 2013.
It feels like years ago, but the Red Sox took a quality first step in refocusing their organization when they shed a quarter of a billion dollars in a post-trade deadline line deal with the Dodgers just a few weeks ago. It is absolutely vital that they continue to operate in that same fashion. Every move GM Ben Cherington and the Red Sox make must done with an eye towards the future. And Valentine is not part of it.
Cherington, not Larry Lucchino, must find Terry Francona Part Two — a highly respected manager of people. I’m not sure if that is John Farrell, Terry Lovullo, Ryne Sandberg, or someone else.
But it is certainly not Valentine.