Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Red Sox handed Valentine a $190 million payroll, a two-year contract and a mandate to win now. Valentine treated the Sox as he did the 1985 Texas Rangers or the 1996 Mets, clubs in need of a reconstruction more than a reprimand.
“I’m not sure that’s fair. We thought the decision was a sensible, rational one last year,’’ Red Sox president Larry Lucchino told colleague Chris Gasper on Thursday. “What we were looking for at the time seemed to be what Bobby Valentine presented at the time.”
Seemed to be. Interesting that Lucchino would use those words. On Friday, in the wake of a decision that came 14 hours and 14 minutes after the Red Sox made the final out of their season, Gasper also asked why the Red Sox waited until the end of the season to pull the trigger on a decision that seemed apparent to everyone else for months.
“Well, again, you said seemed to be apparent,” Lucchino answered. “When did it seem to be apparent? In August, there was a lot of fluttering about on this issue. We thought we needed to put it aside when the team was still in the race. We wanted to create some white space, a period of quietude that would last at least until the end of the season. That was part of the motivation.”
Got that? When the firing of Valentine seemed a given, the Red Sox argue that things are not always as they seem. But when Valentine seemed like a good choice at the time, we’re supposed to give them the same latitude Lucchino would not afford Gasper.
Globe: Sox not admitting mistake
Here we are a year later and it feels like nothing has change for the Red Sox, Larry Lucchino has spent the past couple of days trying to spin this as if he wasn't involved & that the hiring of Valentine wasn't just his idea. It's remarkable that he isn't going to accept any blame and say that this was a bad idea from the beginning.
He really did seem like the right guy at the time of the hiring. He wasn't going to take any crap from the players and that he would straighten this out. But somewhere early on, it seemed as if Bobby wasn't being Bobby. With players complaining to the front office and then having both the front office & the players themselves say "this isn't how things go here", it seemed that they didn't want Bobby to change that much of the attitude that effectively killed the 2011 season.
Then the great salary purge of 2012 took place and sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, & Josh Beckett to the Dodgers and it seemed liked things would be alright but then with what was left it seemed like it was going to be a long September.
We were right.
After a dismal 7-22 ending to the season and Valentine getting fired less than a day after the season is over, it seems like the Sox are right back in the same place they were a year ago. Everyone is a year older and the front office seemingly isn't a year wiser. However, we're supposed to put faith in the front office and ownership group that they'll get this right?
Actually, Lucchino might be on to something here. After all, with the way things have been handled over the past 15 months, it's seems as if this front office can't screw it up and make this team any worse. It's seemingly impossible to sink any lower! There is something to hold on to there a little sliver of hope that maybe, just MAYBE this is all just a bump in the road.
Wait...what am I saying? This ownership group has cared more about turning Fenway Park into a museum and how the Red Sox look as a brand first, team second. If they continue to think that way, then it seems like this won't end until they're gone.
Globe: Farrell a flawed candidate | Henry not owning up to it | Herald: Dice-K era crapped out | Jays Luvullo could lead Sox | Not much for Sox to spend on | CSNNE: Patience is a virtue | Sox eyeing Farrell, but open to others | Francona to become manager of the Indians | WEEI: Francona next manager for Indians | Lucchino: 'myriad changes' for Sox | Cherington: No teams contacted yet