The Red Sox announced this afternoon that manager Bobby Valentine will not return for the second year of his contract in 2013.
It is about goddamn time.
Valentine has said repeatedly over the last month that he thinks he is the best man for the job and that he thought he would be returning in 2013. It is hard to imagine that even he believed the words coming out of his mouth. The Red Sox suffered their worst season in 45 years in 2012 and were an outright embarrassment in August and September. How could any manager, even with the sparse tools at his disposal in the second half of the year, believe that he would keep his job after such poor results?
Yesterday on WEEI, Valentine said in an interview on The Big Show that he had been undermined by his coaching staff throughout the year. The revelation was not surprising, considering that most of those coaches were loyal to Terry Francona and Valentine has the reputation (rightfully) or being, how shall we say … abrasive. Yet, Valentine was not alone on this sinking ship.
What should the Red Sox do now? Well, here is a novel idea …
Firing everybody on the coaching staff.
Yes, I am looking at you, Tim Bogar. And you, Gary Tuck. It might be hard to part with these Red Sox coaching stalwarts but the fact of the matter is that they are as responsible for Valentine’s tumultuous tenure as the players or the front office. They are the ones that created an environment where the coaching staff was not set up to succeed. Should they be absolved from their duty to the Red Sox because they didn’t like Booby V? Absolutely not.
The Sox reset the roster by making the (absolutely brilliant) trade to rid themselves of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett in August. It was a clean break and good for everybody involved, except for, maybe, the Dodgers. It is now time to do the same thing to the coaching staff. Tuck may be the best bullpen coach in the game but he is as much responsible for the culture around the Sox as anybody.
Valentine became a cancer to the Sox by the end and nobody that loves the Red Sox will be sad to see the end of him. Now it is time for general manager Ben Cherington and the front office to do their duty and finish the job.