Blog Entry

Red Sox look directionless in talking Bobby V

Posted on: November 18, 2011 6:21 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 6:28 pm
News that the Red Sox are talking with Bobby Valentine appears to mean one of two things for the flailing Bostons, who now are the only major-league team without a manager:

1. There is a total lack of direction and the Red Sox don't even know what they want anymore.

2. Ownership has seized the steering wheel from rookie general manager Ben Cherington and now is controlling the process.

Either scenario is not good, a far cry from the well-oiled machine that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007.

The first scenario is evidenced by the dramatic contrast between Valentine and the initial group of candidates they interviewed: Dale Sveum, who was named Cubs manager Friday, Sandy Alomar Jr., Gene Lamont, Pete Mackanin and Torey Lovullo. Of that group, only Lamont has prior major-league managerial experience (Mackanin was the Pirates' interim manager in 2005 and the Reds' interim pilot in 2007). All of those guys veer toward the quiet and unassuming and, to an extent, could be controlled by management. Valentine is brash, has years of experience and is his own man.

The second scenario is evidenced by the fact that Sveum veered in the Cubs' direction in short order following a lunch with Red Sox ownership on Wednesday. He was the only candidate brought back for a second interview. Clearly things did not click between Sveum and Boston's ownership. What we don't know is whether Sveum told Boston the Cubs were his first choice or whether Red Sox ownership pulled the plug on him.

Either way, it speaks volumes.

Obviously, Cherington did not think experience was a necessity when this process started. Valentine was on the shelf, available, when Terry Francona was let go. If the Red Sox were that interested in Valentine, they could have had him in place weeks ago. Why waste time first-dating all those first-timers?

Unless ... they arrived at Valentine once ownership lost confidence in Cherington.

Now there are more questions than answers:

-- Has aggressive president Larry Lucchino been turned loose by co-owners John Henry and Tom Werner to do his thing after being kept away from baseball operations during Theo Epstein's last few years in Boston?

-- By hiring Sveum, did Theo and Co. sting the Red Sox enough that Lucchino and Co. looking to one-up the Cubs with a splashy hire?

-- With his outsized personality, how much fun would Valentine be managing the Red Sox mixing with the outsized egos of ownership, the outsized coverage of the local media and the outsized noise from the New England fans?

-- How does Cherington regain his balance after his legs were cut out from under him this week and command authority going forward? Is it even possible?

At this rate, the Red Sox may take until Valentine's Day to have a manager in place. Or maybe (Bobby) Valentine's Day will come early to Boston.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2011 4:09 pm

Red Sox look directionless in talking Bobby V

I agree that Scott Miller is clueless, I still can't believe that anyone pays him for the tripe he comes out with.  Don't know why everyone is in SUCH a hurry to have the Red Sox find their man. Chill folks, it's not just a sound bite for Red Sox Nation, we will wait until a good man comes out of the process. The great job Tito did deserves more recognition by everyone, including NewEnglandPride. 

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: November 19, 2011 1:58 pm

Red Sox look directionless in talking Bobby V

Ben Cherington is not qualifed to be the next GM of the Red Sox. The Red Sox are under intense scrutiny after several years of infamy/ineptitude/incompetence/clue


The Red Sox needed to hire someone with presence and a history of some success. The Red Sox should have gone after Billy Beane. Beane must be tired of cutting salary every year while running the Athletics. I bet he would do wonders if he ran a team with a payroll of at least $130-180 million.

It is ironic that the situation in Boston mirrors the situation in Oakland in that both Billy Beane and the Red Sox owners thought they were the brains behind their teams and did not take kindly to underlings hogging the spotlight. Beane got rid of established managers and hired his best man at his wedding to run the A's. Bob Geren has been clueless as a major league manager from day one. But he does not hog the spotlight and he does what Beane/upper management tells him to do. Similarly, John Henry and Tom Werner are two very outspoken owners and much bas been written about how much they felt slighted when Theo Epstein received most or all of the credit for Boston's two recent WS titles. They wanted to show the world that anyone can run the Red Sox (because the owners are so great) and so they chose Cherington to run the club.

Jon Daniels of the Rangers is the youngest GM in baseball. He was hired at 28 years old. It took him five years to find a clue and put together a championship-caliber (not championship-winning because his Rangers got pawned in the world Series for two years straight).

Theo Epstein is so great that he could have chosen Ken Macha to manage the Cubs and that would have turned out well. I'm kidding of course. But to say that Terry Francona is a great manager simply because he led the Red Sox to two WS titles is oversimplifying the situation. That is....the Red Sox and Yankees are filled with top-money players who usually do well...(except for AJ Burnett). If Francona managed a team with a lesser collection of high level talent I seriously doubt he would be viewed with such strong admiration and affirmation.

If Francona is such a great manager then why didn't he do a better job managing the team in the playoffs? You cannot have some of your players running out of control playing video games, drinking beer and smoking dope while the rest of the team is hard at work trying to win ballgames. 


Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: November 19, 2011 1:43 pm

Red Sox look directionless in talking Bobby V

Sorry, Sawx Nation, but there doesn't seem to a really viable managerial candidate out there that is a fit for this mess. It would appear that ownership would rather have a puppet (anyone but Valentine) rather than a maverick (ummm...Valentine). Between the front office implosion and the September meltdown, this organization is in disarray (and I'm a Reds fan, so I know of disarray). What you need to do is throw every dollar you have at Joe Maddon - he'll be out of Tampa's price range soon and he's proven that he can manage, and succeed, in the AL East.  

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:36 pm

Red Sox look directionless in talking Bobby V

I've been for hiring Bobby Valentine since his name was first brought up.

First off if the Red Sox players didn't listen to Terry Francona who won the Red Sox 2 championships, they're sure not gonna listen to the "new guy" who doesn't have even 1 year of full managerial experience. So a guy like Dave Martinez is not the answer, they'd just do as they pleased and acted like he didn't exist. And a guy like Dave Martinez isn't gonna rock the boat because he doesn't wanna risk his new job. So pretty much any new manager without any true experience is gonna have a limited effect on the team.

You need a guy like Bobby Valentine in the clubhouse. A guy who wouldn't be afraid to bench an entire team if need be. A guy who would make it known that they either act like a team or their riding the bench and risking losing a lot of money on their next contract. And any player who has Scott Boras as his agent is gonna care about how much his next contract will be worth. It doesn't matter if they already get 25 million a year, they are still thinking about how much they're going to get the next time around. And those guys benching them and cutting into their possible future earnings will help motivate them into being a team player.

Save a guy like Dave Martinez for when the Red Sox players egos are in check. Or maybe a stud manager might be available by then instead. It's just pointless to put "fresh meat" into a pack of hungry wolves and tell that person to train them.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:46 pm

Red Sox look directionless in talking Bobby V

Seriously Lloyd McClendon would be an excellent candidate.  5 years of MLB experience and has a fiery personality which will be appreciated in Boston.

Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:46 pm

Red Sox look directionless in talking Bobby V

Miller you have no idea where who or what is going to come Bostons way i only know it will not be Tito thank god and when they do make there decision i hope it's not long term we had and still have enough long term problems.  Whom ever we hire to replace all of the dismays please we need a strong man and a manager who'll make the right decisions for the club and fans yes we do pay to go watch. Please enough said if that was too much already ?

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