Mercifully, the Red Sox season came to a close yesterday. Daisuke Matsuzaka ended his run with a loss. Poor fellow, he never adjusted to American baseball or maybe to Red Sox baseball. The same for Bobby Valentine who was fired today. Peter Abraham wrote this afternoon
The Red Sox moved swiftly after ending their season Wednesday night, telling Valentine that he would not return for the second year of his contract to manage the team.
The Sox finished 69-93, their worst record since 1965, and finished in last place in the American League East for the first time since John Henry and Tom Werner became owners 11 years ago.
“I’m disappointed, yeah,” Valentine said in an impromptu meeting with reporters after he first eluded them as he started a bike ride Thursday afternoon. “This is not the press conference that I was expecting at the end of the season.”
Not since 1934 had the Red Sox fired a manager after only one season. But the 62-year-old Valentine was a controversial choice to replace Terry Francona, and his tenure proved rocky.
“A lot of things didn’t go well, but an experienced manager is supposed to put his finger in the dike and keep the water on the other side,” he said.
Of course we had seen this coming for sometime now. Bobby falling off his bike was symbolic of the season.
So now it is time to move on. Sign Cody Ross. Sign David Ortiz. Hope that Ellsbury can stay healthy. Ditto Pedroia. And who should he the next manager?
The Obnoxious Boston Fan posted this advice for the new manager.
Dear Next Red Sox Manager:
Congratulations. Managing the Red Sox is a dream job for anyone who doesn’t have it. You will be the most scrutinized boss in New England, especially now that the FBI is no longer “tracking” Whitey Bulger.
Good luck, sir, you’re going to need it.
Every Red Sox fan – at least once or twice a game – knows that he or she can do the job better than you. Every move you make will be second-guessed, criticized, analyzed, applauded or jeered, depending on the result. You will almost always be wrong. We will almost always be right.
Very few of us know first-hand the challenges of managing multi-millionaires with guaranteed contracts and the massive talent and ego helped them earn those multi-million dollar deals. The Red Sox team that you greet on Day One in Fort Myers cannot bear any real resemblance to the team that sulked off the field in humiliating defeat Wednesday night in the Bronx.
Many of the core players will or perhaps should be the same – the cheerful Cody Ross, the surgically-repaired Dustin Pedroia, the hopefully re-signed and content David Oritz, the genuine Texas-Could-Be-Tough-Guy Will Middlebrooks, the-ever-consistent Clay Buchholz and the glad-this-season-is-over Jon Lester. This core has as much potential to win the coveted first or second-wildcard as does the Orioles or A’s and is strong enough to even reach the ALCS. There is neither enough firepower at the plate nor octane on the mound to win a division nor survive pair of seven-game series and win a World Series championship.
And he ends with this
You are fortunate to be replacing Bobby Valentine. It would be nearly impossible to do any worse in 2013 than he did in 2012. Valentine didn’t lose control of the Red Sox, he never had it, nor ever cared to. His presence was all about Bobby Valentine from his introductory press conference to final, whining farewells this week. This is not about you, it’s about them. If you can get through your first press conference without being the star of the show, that will be considered progress.
Simply doing a better job than your predecessor won’t be good enough. Everyone will demand a championship every year. But Red Sox fans as a whole are a patient lot and will give you and the organization a chance as long as they are treated like adults and not a bunch of six-year-olds who still believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the second wildcard when the team is 12 games out in August. My parents both lived and died their entire lives without ever seeing a World Series parade in Boston. Most of their grandchildren, on the other hand, don’t remember a time when the Red Sox hadn’t won a championship Trust me on this one, Mr. New Manager, Red Sox fans are a patient and forgiving, if given the chance.
Reasonable Red Sox fans – no that’s not an oxymoron – know this team is at least two years away from serious contention, if not three. You’ll have a guaranteed contract, probably at least three-years in length. So act accordingly.
Be the boss.
Neither accept nor dispense bull—-, especially when dealing with the players.
Do not follow and get everyone else the hell out of your way. Dealing with the media is a part of the job, but they are not your core audience nor do they generate the bajillions of dollars needed to sustain the Monster and all whom work beneath its spell. Be professional and they will/should act accordingly. Don’t play them off one and another and don’t, under any circumstances, allow yourself to become the story with foolishness and faux threats to punch them in the nose. And you’re free to ignore what idiots like me say once you’re done reading this letter.
Simply put: “Do your job.”
The pressure is on, Ben Cherington. Pick well. We are waiting.