I wasn’t watching the Red Sox game on Sunday. I didn’t see one pitch. Instead, I was busy watching the Patriots piss away a victory against the suddenly pesky Arizona Cardinals. At home. In a week where both the Ravens and the Jets lost.
But I digress.
The Sox were north of the border, completing an utterly meaningless three-game series against the equally as awful Blue Jays. It was the top of the seventh inning, and the Local Nine found themselves in a scoreless game with two outs. Pedro Ciriaco delivered a single, and Jose Iglesias stepped to the plate. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Ciriaco swiped second base.
Bobby Valentine sent pinch hitter Daniel Nava to the plate to relieve Iglesias. In the middle of his at-bat. In a 2-2 count. In a game that most literally means nothing. Nava, who was probably just as uncomfortable as the 22-year old Iglesias, promptly grounded out on the first pitch he saw. Inning over.
I have no issue with Valentine attempting to win ballgames in the final handful of weeks of the season. Of course that is until he starts acting like a total assclown on the field.
If Valentine is truly determined to pile up as many meaningless wins as he can, here is an idea: Pinch hit Nava for Iglesias before the young shortstop even digs in the batter’s box. That move would have at least been justifiable, given the fact that Nava would be hitting from the left side, making it more difficult for the right-handed throwing catcher to nab the soon-to-be stealing Ciriaco. Let’s not forget that any hitter prefers a fresh count rather than being thrust into a two-strike situation.
Valentine is still employed by the Red Sox, and I’m not sure why. But if this latest act of utter stupidity does not force ownership’s hand, I don’t believe anything will. Count on Valentine managing this team throughout the remainder of the season–that includes the three-game series in New York to end the year.