BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine on Thursday, but his players aren’t blaming him for their disappointing season.
“It was a rough season for everybody,” pitcher Clay Buchholz told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche outside of Fenway Park on Thursday. “Unfortunately in this business the blame has to be placed somewhere. Sometimes it’s on the players; most of the time it is. But given this team and how much they spent on the players, they can’t go off and fire everyone on the guys on the field. It was a crazy season for everyone, and I think that’s just the business side on the field.”
“We’re out there playing the game. When I don’t go out and do my job it’s my fault; he’s not the one throwing pitches,” said closer Andrew Bailey, who gave an emphatic “no” when asked if it was Valentine’s fault Boston went 69-93 this season. “He’s a great in-game manager. He always put his guys in a position to succeed. I have the utmost respect for him.”
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There are numerous stories about Valentine not getting along with players and his bench coaches, from a run-in with Mike Aviles over cut-off throws during Spring Training to his in-season spat with Kevin Youkilis.
“Obviously he had a couple run-ins with guys on the team. That’s just the way it is I guess. It was pretty tough throughout the season given the circumstances,” said Buchholz, who went 11-8 with a 4.56 ERA in 2012. “Me and Bobby had a pretty good relationship. I’m not a really big talker anyways, so our conversations were pretty short and to the point. I’m not a guy that likes to be on TV and bash anybody so I just try to stay out-of-the-way.”
With the 2012 season finally over, the Red Sox can look ahead and focus on 2013. There will be more change during the offseason, but Buchholz said that isn’t always a bad thing.
“I guess change is good. It’s good for a lot of organizations and it just didn’t work out this year,” said Buchholz. “It’s going to be good for everybody. We had a lot of key guys out of the order this year; a lot of guys got hurt. I’m ready to go. (I’ll) take a couple of weeks off and get back into it.”
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“There’s a lot of drama surrounding the team. It’s a city and organization that the fans want to the most out of and deserve a winning team,” said Bailey, who missed the first four-and-a-half months after undergoing thumb surgery in Spring Training. “We didn’t put a winning team out there this year and it’s up to the players. We’re the ones out there performing and we didn’t do our jobs out there this year and the fans deserve better.”