It’s not how you start, but how you finish. But what if the start is just as bad as the finish? What happens then? Or if both the beginning and end of something are equally miserable… then what? Unfortunately if your names Bobby Valentine, both the beginning and end of his reign as bench boss for the Boston Red Sox were dreadful in every sense of the word.
Management made the right choice for the future of the franchise this morning as they informed Valentine that his services will no longer be needed in the city of Boston. This move was more of a matter of if not when in deciding to keep the highly combustible Bobby V around for another whirl in hopes that luck might change for the 62 year old if given a second chance to show he could get the job done. As I had mentioned in a previous article, (http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2012/09/08/crisis-management-101-the-chronicles-of-the-bobby-v-era/) Bobby Valentine was setup for failure from day one of his hiring because management thought they knew what they wanted when it came for the type of personality and leader to try to right the ship that was sank last September. They thought Tito was too soft on the players and therefore wanted more of a disciplinary figure to lead the ball club; enter Bobby V. Valentine’s knowledge of baseball is substantial as he has spent 16 years as a manager in the MLB and coaching overseas in Japan which makes for a very attractive resume. Here lies the problem. The brain trust intended to find a manager with an opposite style of Terry Francona’s in order to regain stability and respect amongst the players in the clubhouse trying to shed the “Animal House-like” atmosphere from 2011. What they really did by hiring Valentine was going for the marquee name that they think will get fans hooting hollering and buying Red Sox Merchandise. Does this sound like a familiar approach taken by the three stooges John, Larry and Tom in years past? (I.e. signing the likes of Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Bobby Jenks, Daisuke Matsuzaka, among a few others because it was the right business move not the right baseball move.) This same move when it comes to finding the next manager is one that cannot be duplicated this offseason unless the Red Sox brass are ready to become a mediocre ball club for the next few years that will put a couple more managers through the meat grinder.
The 100th anniversary year of this team’s existence will always be remembered in the hearts and more so in the memories of Red Sox Nation, but not as most had it unfolding in its original plans. It will go down as one of the most painful teams to follow and watch on a daily basis as they were eventful for all the wrong reasons. Predicting this disaster is not something that any human could have predicted that I am sure of. The future of this team however is also one that at this current time is very murky to be able to decipher what will happen next and whether or not it will be of the good or bad variety is a decision that lies within the beholder. Finding the right person to clean up this mess will not be an easy task, but needs to be a process that is taken with an immense amount of attention to detail and seriousness for the state of this team and its fans depend upon it. Getting rid of Bobby V is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cleaning up this team needs to do starting today. Figuring out this roster and filling the major holes that lie within the 1-9 lineup card should be priority number two. Making another mistake or mistakes by signing or trading for the popular names with bloated contracts will get this team in an even deeper mess than they already are stepping in and will handicap them like they were earlier this season prior to the blockbuster 260 million dollar dumping exhibition with the L.A Dodgers. Some hardcore bleacher bums of the Friendly confines of the Fens might argue that this rebuilding project is one that will be an equally as difficult a job as the one that Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will withstanding upon election time when they need to devote their efforts to rebuilding America. The similarities between the current status of this great country and the Boston Red Sox are ones that are not as farfetched as some may think. Both have storied reputations that are of a high standard built from success in their respected areas and both are in desperate need of a leader that will guide them back to prominence. Before people start freaking out I am only loosely comparing these two as a means of entertainment and comparison that the vast majority of people can relate to. In all seriousness, the work that needs to be done in the coming months on Yawkey way began took its beginning steps earlier this morning and will need to continue throughout the next six or so months leading up to the 2013 season.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.