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Why Bobby Valentine Will Ultimately Fail With the Red Sox

Posted on December 06, 2011 by Brendan Tyman

Bobby Valentine is not a great fit as the Boston Red Sox manager.

Bobby Valentine talked about reputation when he was introduced as the new Manager of the Boston Red Sox last Thursday. This is ironic since Valentine’s reputation with his past players and front office personnel are abysmal. While Valentine may win more games than he loses in his stint with the Red Sox, Valentine will ultimately fail in Boston.

Valentine’s position is even more tenuous because the Red Sox players got too comfortable under former manager Terry Francona and they collapsed in September (7-20 record) to finish in third place for the second straight season. Francona was a lame-duck manager in September because the owners failed to pick up his options for the next two seasons. After Francona graciously exited the stage, the owners decided to rip him by addressing his alleged problems with prescription pills and his crumbling marriage as possible black clouds adding to the downward spiral of the Sox during the 2011 season.

Valentine will not win titles in Boston because he will not be afraid to criticize players through the media and berate them publicly. How will the stubborn Josh Beckett pitch after he hears that his manager is willing to call him out in press conferences instead of through personal conversations? While the Red Sox players did this to themselves and they should not be treated as victims, they could still run mutiny on Valentine’s ship just like the New York Mets did in 2002. Valentine will be judged on his record as the manager.

How Many World Series Titles Will Bobby Valentine Win With The Red Sox?

  • 0 (68%, 15 Votes)
  • 3 or more (18%, 4 Votes)
  • 2 (9%, 2 Votes)
  • 1 (5%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 22

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For all the “great” assets that Valentine brings as a coach, his teams have never won a division and he only made two playoff appearances in 15 seasons with the Texas Rangers and Mets. He is living off his one World Series appearance where his team got crushed by the dynastic New York Yankees in 2000. Valentine has overseen just one day where his team was atop the standings.

Valentine was not on the list of initial candidates for good reason because General Manager, Ben Cherington did not feel he could trust Valentine. He had five initial candidates and brought Dale Sveum in for a second interview with the owners, but he didn’t get the nod. Valentine was Larry Lucchino’s choice to be the next manager. The owners do not care about winning, as much as making a profit and if press excitement brings in financial success then so be it. This is why John Henry has paid attention to all of his other cash cows like Fenway Roush Racing and the Liverpool futbol squad. With Valentine being Lucchino’s buddy, Valentine is more apt to listen to Lucchino than to take advice from the figurehead GM.

Why would the Red Sox not sign Valentine to a five year deal if he is considered a jack-of-all-trades? They gave him two guaranteed years for just $3 million. The Toronto Blue Jays gave first-time manager John Farrell a three-year deal. This scenario is interesting given that Farrell has two years left on his contract, which is when Valentine’s agreement expires. The players on the Red Sox know that Valentine is living on borrowed time and the Red Sox will hire Farrell when he becomes a free agent because Farrell was always seen as the successor to Francona.

The Red Sox might not have the depth to win championships. Currently, they have three starting pitchers who when healthy and effective can be among the best in the game. The problem is these pitchers have been unable to stay healthy over the past couple of years with Beckett (2010) and Clay Buchholz (2011) being hampered with back injuries. Beckett and Jon Lester were unable to pitch deep into games last season, especially when their team needed them in September. The Red Sox lost their closer, Jonathan Papelbon, and the rest of their bullpen, except for Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves, are unreliable. The Red Sox do have the resources to acquire top-notch talent, but their farm system does not have enough pitching prospects. Their top upcoming star, Anthony Ranaudo, may not even be ready to pitch until 2013 at the earliest. Their trades of Casey Kelly and Justin Masterson to fill offensive needs have depleted their pitching prospects.

Valentine will be able to finish with records over .500, but he will not be able to be successful in Boston because he will not take this organization to a World Series appearance. The Boston fans want championships and so Valentine’s appearance in the Red Sox dugout will be brief. The ending will not be a happy one. There will never be a dull day on Yawkey Way during Valentine’s reign and the NESN ratings will increase. This is the only numbers that the Red Sox ownership truly desires, and they will ultimately get just what they deserve.


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