Coming off the biggest September collapse in baseball history, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was brought in this season to shake things up in a clubhouse where the inmates seemed to be running the asylum. Alcohol was banned, and there was going to be a greater focus on player accountability.
And during Spring Training, many Red Sox fans were convinced that the shake up was working. Unfortunately, it has turned into a complete disaster.
I realize that we are only two weeks into a very long season, but the Red Sox need to fire Bobby Valentine right now, before this whole season collapses by May 1st.
Barely two weeks into the season, Bobby Valentine has already managed to open his mouth and upset one of the most popular and hard-working players on the Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis. In an interview with WHDH, Valentine said that Youkilis is not as physically and emotionally into the game as he has been in the past. Say what you want about Kevin Youkilis, but the one thing that nobody should ever question is whether Youkilis puts his heart and soul into every game he plays.
This has forced players, and even the Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, to come out in defense of Youkilis. The last thing this Red Sox teams needs is a clubhouse mutiny against the manager. Unfortunately, one seems to be brewing right now.
When Valentine was hired, the media told us that despite his unfiltered mouth, he was one of the best “in game” managers in baseball. But that is not what we have been seeing at all. Red Sox fans have seen blunder after blunder made by Valentine so far in the young season.
In Monday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, in a 0-0 game in the top of the seventh, Red Sox starter Daniel Bard retired the first two batters he faced. Then the wheels started to come off. He allowed a walk and a single to the next two batters but Valentine left him in the game even though it was obvious to everybody that Bard was exhausted and had lost command of his pitches. When Bard walked the next batter to load the bases, Valentine still did not pull him, and he proceeded to walk the next batter, forcing in the only run of the game. The Sox lost 1-0.
Valentine also made the mistake of using one of Boston's worst relievers, Justin Thomas with a 7.36 ERA, in a 3-1 game in Toronto last week, which allowed Toronto to blow the game wide open. He wasted one of our best relievers, Vicente Padilla, in a game which the Sox were losing 16-2.
It pains me to say this as a Red Sox fan, but this is a franchise in complete disarray. The Sox are 4-7, in last place in the AL East, and Valentine has not only angered his players, but he has also made some terrible in game decisions that have cost the Red Sox games. In the wake of last September's collapse, this is the last thing this team needs. It is time to cut our losses with Valentine before things get even worse.