10:43 PM EDT, August 15, 2012
Who's running asylum?
This is both a simple question and a complex one. If the Red Sox go in the tank like they did last September, it's hard to imagine Bobby Valentine lasting the season. But owners John Henry and Larry Lucchino have to know they will be sending a horrible message to the team and its fans if they give in to the grumpy players and fire him because he's, well, the guy they hired to fix a broken clubhouse.
The reason he's the manager instead of the popular Terry Francona is because there was the perception that the inmates were running the asylum last season. If the Red Sox aren't playing well this year because the players don't like the manager, it's probably time to get new players.
He'll be back next year
Dustin Pedroia is having his worst season in the last six. Adrian Gonzalez is having his worst season in the last seven. And they think Bobby Valentine is the Red Sox's problem?
Valentine was given a two-year contract when he replaced Terry Francona, and there's no reason why Valentine should not manage the Red Sox in 2013.
I bet he's back as John Henry and Larry Lucchino stand by their young general manager, Ben Cherington, and their crazy-smart, incredibly hard-working manager. To do otherwise is to admit it was a mistake to fire Francona and not offer Theo Epstein the increased authority that could have prompted him to turn down the Cubs.
Doomed from the start
The Bobby Valentine experiment has run its course. Valentine might finish the season — and at this point he should — but his two-year contract will make it easy to get rid of him.
Valentine underestimated the sense of entitlement players have and overestimated the backing he would have from ownership in trying to change it.
Ownership can't fire all the players or itself, but the Red Sox owners need to figure out what they want. One day they want to be the Athletics and the next they want to outspend the Yankees. One day they want discipline, the next they are lending sympathetic ears to players who want to choose their manager. Valentine was doomed from the start, and the finish is upon us.
Gone after season
Los Angeles Times
Bobby Valentine will finish the season with the Red Sox because to fire him now would give the perception that the inmates are running the asylum. But he'll be gone come October.
These player mutinies rarely work out for the manager, as Terry Collins can attest. The current Mets skipper was with the Angels in 1999 when news leaked that the team was going to extend his contract. When players heard about the extension, several complained to then-general manager Bill Bavasi, who went ahead with a one-year extension.
By the end of that turbulence-filled Angels season, Collins and Bavasi were gone. The situation in Boston now seems even more toxic than it was in Anaheim in 1999.
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