And here I thought Bobby V would make such an indelible impression in Boston. His attention to detail has been well-chronicled, and he seemed to be the type of manager who would whip the Red Sox players into shape. He was thought to be the anti-Terry Francona, if you will. If that’s not a good enough selling point, the Valentine won with the New York Mets for crying out loud!
But as we all have learned at least a few times in life, just because things are suppose to turn out a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean they will. The Valentine-Red Sox marriage was a disaster from Day 1. Valentine’s abrasiveness with the media reared it’s ugly head during spring training. He chafed with and poorly communicated with players to the point of a near mutiny occurring during the middle of the season.
And it wasn’t all Bobby V’s fault. After all, he had to sustain a rash of injuries to his roster – 56 different players were used this season! In a sense, Valentine managed behind the eight-ball all season long.
I also lay blame at the feet of management – namely team president Larry Lucchino. Lucchino was the guy who wanted Valentine in the first place, in fact so bad that he overruled general manager Ben Cherington’s original choice John Farrell, who manages the Toronto Blue Jays (and maybe not for long). And keep in mind this was the same Lucchino who ran off former GM Theo Epstein and ran Francona under the bus after he was fired. So suffice it to say, Lucchino had all this bad fortune coming for a long time. Memo to Lucchino: let your GM do his job, and you do yours’ by keeping your ass behind the scenes.
Having said all that, I am not using ANY of that to give Valentine a pass. He communicated poorly with players. He alienated a respected clubhouse leader in Kevin Youkilis. His condescending style did not sit well with the fans and media.
Simply put, he did a poor job.