The morning after the Red Sox completed their worst season in 47 years, Valentine met for nearly two hours with ownership and general manager Ben Cherington at team president Larry Lucchino’s house in Brookline. It was there the beleaguered manager was informed, to no one’s surprise, that he would be dismissed after only 308 days and with approximately $2.5 million remaining on his two-year contract.
And thus, the ignominious Bobby V era is over.
“As we got to the end of the year and looked toward 2013,” Cherington said later at Fenway Park [map], “we just felt like a fresh start in the manager’s office was needed to really be able to move forward and hit the reset button and start to build a culture that will hopefully make us a more competitive team, a winning team, over time.”
Herald - Change of Sox needed
I'm thrilled the Red Sox let Bobby go as quickly as they did. Yes,
because there's no reason to drag out the inevitable. But also because I
think we've all already said everything there was to say about the
Valentine era. Like everything else surrounding this year, the
Valentine storyline has grown tiresome.
It wasn't all bad -- there were some moments during the season where we praised him for his handling of the sub-par talent-wise bullpen, among other things. And there's probably a lot of truth in his "the other coaches undermined me" complaint. From pretty much April on, the Sox as a whole made Valentine the scapegoat for all that ailed them. That's comes with being a manager, but it's really not all his fault. It would have taken a truly special manager to make anything positive out of this team. I guess the silver lining of Bobby being made to look so awful is that he's on the back-end of his career, and this was probably going to be his last managing gig anyway.
Now we shift focus to the next guy -- the one that's going to inherit a (most likely) young squad, lacking in talent. One that realistically won't be a playoff contender for at least three years. Oh, and a fanbase that's sick of watching crappy baseball, sick of watching over-matched guys on the field, and just sick of losing in general. Whoever this next manager is is almost destined to fail before he begins.
I'm sure the front office will say all the right things: He'll get plenty of slack. They'll stick with him through the long-haul as the roster comes together. He won't be judged by wins and losses.
But we always tend to think our players are better than they are. We always think the number of wins is too low. And we're not going to watch a middling team for three more years. Unless the guy can pull a Buck Showalter and take the world by surprise, he's probably not going to last long enough to see the fruits of his labors.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope the Sox find a way to repeat what the Celtics did with Doc Rivers. But I don't think I'm wrong. And I don't think we should get too comfy with our next manager because when that next World Series trophy is hoisted, whenever that may be, Bobby Valentine's successor won't be raising it.
On Page 2, Schilling's blood sock could be yours soon!
Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling might have to sell or give up the famed blood-stained sock he wore on the team's way to the 2004 World Series championship to cover millions of dollars in loans he guaranteed to his failed video game company.
Schilling, whose Providence-based 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy in June, listed the sock as collateral to Bank Rhode Island in a September filing with the Massachusetts secretary of state's office. The sock is on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Schilling told WEEI-AM in Boston on Thursday that possibly having to sell the sock is part of "having to pay for your mistakes." He said that "I put myself out there" in personally guaranteeing loans to 38 Studios and is seeking what he called an amicable solution with the bank.
"I'm obligated to try and make amends and, unfortunately, this is one of the byproducts of that," he told the station.
Shady business practices aside, this is sad. The world shouldn't be deprived of the bloody sock because of a video game.
The sock has been estimated to be worth somewhere between $50,000 to $100,000.
I hope that whoever buys it donates it right back to Cooperstown. Maybe I'm a little too sentimental about a disgusting, blood-stained sock, but it doesn't belong hanging up on some dude's wall.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Heat’s on Sox to get it right this time | Sox owners need to find right players | Won’t be easy to get John Farrell back | Globe -Red Sox manager possibilities for 2013 | John Farrell still the favorite for Red Sox | WEEI - Bobby Valentine has only himself to blame for firing | Lucchino: No timetable for next manager | Francona: Farrell, Mills among fits for Sox | Ben Cherington, Larry Lucchino discuss Bobby Valentine’s dismissal | CSNNE - McAdam: Red Sox eying Farrell, but open to others | Valentine was a managed disaster for Red Sox