"The other day, when I made a comment about the September roster,'' said Valentine, "that wasn't meant to be a criticism of any players or anyone in the organization. It was just a statement of fact because of the injuries and our Triple A team being in the playoffs.
"This is different. We have less people than most September rosters. We have less positions filled than any September roster I've ever seen. If anybody thought that to be anything other than a statement than what it was...I stand corrected on that.
"Usually, a September roster has some starting pitcher who is waiting in the wings. Ours doesn't. Usually a September roster has a couple of lefthanded pinch-hitter types or pinch runners. Five or six outfielders. (We have) four outfielders. It's not like a September roster.''
Okay. I can believe that to an extent. Most other teams have a lot of their minor leaguers up and part of their expanded rosters, which gives them more depth. There were other teams in the playoffs in the minors and I didn't hear their managers calling their rosters the weakest ever.
Even though the depth isn't what it should be yet, there are still guys a part of the 25-man roster that are there doing their jobs and they are called weak.
Instead of calling them weak, maybe a word like "thin" could have played out a little better. Just another controversial comment to add to the inevitable book.
Related: Herald: Bobby Valentine tries to explain 'weakest roster' remark | ESPN Boston: Valentine clarifies 'weakest roster' comment | Globe: Valentine clarifies 'weakest roster' remark
On Page 2, What was the deal with Valentine's decision to pinch-hit for Iglesias mid at-bat?
If the Red Sox [team stats] are using this month to make evaluations for next season and beyond, then Bobby Valentine’s decision to pinch-hit for Jose Iglesias — midway through an at-bat — in the seventh inning here today ranks as one of his most eyebrow-raising moves.
With the game scoreless, Iglesias had worked the count to 2-2 against Blue Jays reliever Brandon Lyon as Pedro Ciriaco stole second base. At that point, Valentine lifted Iglesias in favor of switch-hitting Daniel Nava, a .217 hitter (13-for-60) with runners in scoring position. Nava grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.
“Just trying to get a run for Jon, obviously,” Valentine said, explaining the rationale for lifting Iglesias. “Told Daniel if he steals second, you’ve got it. Otherwise, I was all set to play defense. I was pinch-hit for with the bases loaded, 3-2 count, and it didn’t ruin my confidence. I talked to him. He’ll get over it. He said, ‘Whatever’s right for the team.’”
Said Iglesias, “It’s pretty unusual, but he made a decision. He tried to do what’s best for the team, and I respect that decision.”
“I don’t think it was a make-or-break situation,” Valentine said. “He’s gotten one hit so far. He’ll have opportunity to get some hits. It’s not kindergarten here. You don’t think it was a good decision. So what? I think it was the right thing to do to try to win a game for a (pitcher) who’s busting his butt out there.”
Herald: Head scratching loss for Red Sox
That was a very unusual move. That was the first time I have ever seen a batter pinch-hit for during the at-bat that wasn't a result of an injury.
That situation could have played out much differently if Nava recorded a hit. Valentine would have looked like a genius (maybe not a genious), but it didn't play out like that and it turned into a questionable decision.
I would have pinch-hit for Iglesias before he went up. We all know he can't hit a baseball, so why not just send Nava up there earlier? The Red Sox have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, so you can make the argument to keep Jose in there to get the reps, and that's fine with me. Just make the decision before the at-bat.
Related: ESPN Boston: Booby on PH for Iglesias: "Not kindergarten" | WEEI: Bobby Valentine on Jose Igleasias decision: 'It's not kindergarten here' | Globe: Valentine unapologetic for unusual move to pinch-hit for Iglesias | CSNNE: McAdam: Pinch-hit move yet another strange one by Valentine
The rest of the links:
Herald: Sox lost in translation | Crooner or later, Bobby V's out | Lame duck quacking up | ESPN Boston: July rout by Jays may have helped Lester | Globe: Red Sox unable to sweep Blue Jays | CSNNE: Wakeup call: Breathing easier in the Bronx | Red Sox stumble late in loss to Blue Jays, 5-0