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Sports Then and Now



Red Sox WRECK: The Bobby V Experiment FAILED 1

Posted on October 04, 2012 by Nathan Farrell

Junichi Tazawa deserves a spot in the Red Sox bullpen in 2013.

Today the Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine. That was a surprise to no one as the team has it’s worst season since 1966. Valentine may have been brought in as just a flashy name and pose as damage control. Well more drama happened this season than an episode of Jersey Shore. Between the players not liking Valentine, the coaches not acknowledging Valentine, and everything in between. Some of the stories that came out, you just could not make up. Between Gary Tuck not answering the phone in the bullpen to Bob McClure not telling Valentine what he said to the pitchers on the mound. Pedroia saying “that’s not how we do it around here.” Alfredo Aceves slamming the office door after not closing a game, in which the night before he gave up five runs. All of these were problems this season the team has to be happy it is finally over.

The Red Sox need to work faster this off season. Last off season they were in recovery mode after the collapse and took their time. With Valentine already fired they need to start interviewing candidates for the managerial position. All this talk about John Farrell I believe is ludicrous but the team seems to be going after him. First off he was here before. I believe the team needs some new blood in there. Get rid of the whole coaching staff and let the manager and Ben Cherrington decide on a staff instead of having Valentine and Francona leftovers. Second, I understand the AL East is not the easiest division to play in but the Blue Jays have not won under Farrell’s lead. Why will the Red Sox win under his lead? I believe the Red Sox need a culture change and that starts with a manager that may not be too familiar with the players in that clubhouse, but knows how to communicate.

Tim Bogar was passed on by the Houston Astros, there must have been a reason. DeMarlo Hale has to be a little upset he was passed on again but maybe he will come in for an interview as well. Terry Francona is projected to get the job with Cleveland so that may lead to an opening for Sandy Alomar Jr. This manager will be hired by Ben Cherrington this time around and not Larry Lucchino. Cherrington needs a manager in place by November 1st, which leaves him plenty of time. This manager will not be a one year stop gap like Valentine, so Cherrington needs to be allowed to make the right choice by ownership.

Now that the manager is gone from the 2012 team, which players will be back for the 2013 season? I break it down by position:

Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester, Clay Buccholz, Felix Doubront, and John Lackey will almost certainly be back next season. Gone will be Aaron Cook and Daisuke Matsuzaka and it won’t be a sad goodbye. To address the need for pitching the Red Sox will need an innings eater who is a number two starter at worst. Lester did not have a good year and Lackey will be an end of the rotation pitcher the rest of his career.

Infielders

Dustin Pedroia and Will Middlebrooks are the only locks are their positions for next season. Shortstop has been the question since the trade of Nomar Garciaparra and it will be no different this off season. Mike Aviles saw almost no playing time this September, as he watched Jose Iglesias make great defensive plays and have some horrible at bats. Iglesias’ bat can be tolerated if the Red Sox acquire a power hitter in the middle of the lineup. Aviles was disrespected by the team so he may want to play elsewhere and maybe they could get a relief pitcher for him. James Loney was in the Dodgers trade as fill in and maybe will be brought back on a short term deal. He wasn’t hitting all that great with the Dodgers and that continued in Boston. I think the Red Sox should look elsewhere. Pedro Ciriaco is not an everyday player but should be on this team next year as utility player who has plus speed.

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Why Bobby Valentine Will Ultimately Fail With the Red Sox 19

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.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Al Bumbry: From Bronze Star to AL Rookie of the Year
      May 31, 2021 | 2:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month won a Bronze Star in Vietnam before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors and playing 14 seasons in the Major Leagues.

      Though only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Al Bumbry was a four-year basketball player at Virginia State College (now University). The school restarted its baseball program during his career and Bumbry hit .578 during his senior season to earn notice from the Baltimore Orioles, who picked him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

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