It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Bobby Valentine is still revered by New York Met fans. How did things go so wrong for Valentine in Boston, while it went so right during his tenure with the Mets? Most Met fans would still take Bobby V back in a New York minute. From 1997-2001, Valentine’s Met teams finished in first or second place. He took the 1999 and 2000 Met teams to the playoffs. Many Met fans, myself included, believe that Valentine is one of the game’s best strategists. His epic battles with Bobby Cox are a part of Met lore…even if Cox did win most of those battles.
In 2004, Valentine went to Japan to manage the Chiba Lotte Marines. In 2005 he led the Marines to their first Japanese Series title in 31 years. And that was done with a language barrier in place. Obviously, Bobby Valentine knows how to win. So what went wrong in Boston?
I don’t pretend to be a Red Sox fan, nor do I follow them daily. It’s hard for me to argue with the decision to let Valentine go based on the results. But if the Red Sox are in a true rebuild situation, perhaps they should have given him another year (this is where Red Sox Nation wants me committed). Yes, Valentine made too many foolish remarks during the season, and he didn’t seem to appreciate the Boston media, and let it be known in an unprofessional manner. But why is it that he was able to win in the past, and look so bad in Boston? Perhaps it is because the clubhouse truly is a mess.
I can’t help but think back to Dustin Pedroia’s statement, “that’s not the way we do things here”. That statement still rubs me the wrong way. Saying that about your boss is a problem. It’s a big problem. It’s a very big problem. Pedroia has no right saying anything like that. That statement tells me that the “inmates are running the asylum”. Valentine came in to change that very culture…at management’s request. When he tried to change the culture, it seemed to backfire. Pedroia’s way of doing things got Terry Francona fired….or did he forget about that?
Valentine never did fix the club, but I’ll point out a few final thoughts in his defense: Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, Daniel Nava, and Carl Crawford were all hurt during the season, Adrian Gonzalez lost his homerun swing, Kevin Youkilis didn’t hit until he arrived in Chicago, their entire starting pitching staff forgot how to pitch effectively, and their closer had 10 losses.
I’m not sure who the next Red Sox manager will be, but I sure hope he meets with Dustin Pedroia’s approval. Apparently, that is a prerequisite to managing the Boston Red Sox.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Adrian Gonzalez, Bobby Cox, Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford, Chiba Lotte Marines, Daniel Nava, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, New York Mets, NPBL, Terry Francona