Roche: The Valentine Mess
BOSTON (CBS) – I applaud both John Henry and Ben Cherington for stepping in and showing strong support for manager Bobby Valentine prior to Monday night’s game against Texas at Fenway. It was the right thing to do after the media began to grab a hold of the “fire Bobby” mantra in Boston.
However, I don’t think it matters much at this point, even if the Sox pull off a miracle finish.
Why? Because I don’t think this team will suddenly rally around Valentine and scream, “Let’s Win One For Bobby!”.
I think Bobby Valentine is a pretty good manager. He just wasn’t, isn’t, and will never be a good fit for the 2012 Red Sox.
It’s all about the players. They have and will decide the fate of the particular team.
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John Henry is right to blame injuries for a good reason as to why this team has wallowed in mediocrity. You lose stars such as Ellsbury, Crawford, Youkilis, Ortiz, Buchholz, Bailey, etc it makes things extremely difficult.
Add in the fact that your stars on the pitching staff continued to struggle — I’m talking about you Lester and Beckett — and you have another reason why the Sox are an average team.
The atmosphere/chemistry on this team hasn’t been the best either and I am a big chemistry guy. You can blame the players and Bobby V for creating that.
I think Valentine was a one year experiment anyways, and it has failed. Larry Lucchino, who knows his baseball, convinced everyone to take a gamble. To bring in a strong-minded, tough leader and shake things up. Good idea — just not what this team needed.
What this team needed was hard to find. They needed someone who could bring together a group of players that had suffered the biggest collapse in the history if the game. Someone who was respected by everyone. Someone who would lead a group, but with a firm hand. Someone who would work with a front office and coaching staff that had created a winning formula in a tough city to play in.
Bobby Valentine is not that guy. There simply wasn’t enough time for him to come in and set things up exactly how he wanted, with his own people. In many ways, it wasn’t fair.
And now, John Henry, Tom Werner, and maybe most importantly Larry Lucchino need to decide a few things…..
1) to let Ben Cherington be the builder. Let him bring in the manager HE wants.
2) or, let Ben go and bring in a new GM with his own staff and manager.
After that, let whoever is GM and manager decide which coaches they want on their staff, and biggest of all, which players stay or go. It’s the same thing Robert Kraft did after Bill Parcells and Pete Carroll came through; Kraft brilliantly let Bill Belichick and his staff do it all. That’s what needs to happen here.
If t doesn’t happen, get ready for more years of mediocrity at Fenway.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ.