The Bobby Valentine hiring by the Red Sox seemed like a bad idea from the start. Last November, days after it was reported that the Sox were hiring the former ESPN analyst to replace Terry Francona, a report came out saying players were unhappy with the hiring. Valentine took a shot at Terry Francona in February, and by March he already reportedly was in his first big power struggle. This is all before the season began, mind you.
Valentine then called out Kevin Youkilis early in the season and he lost some of the respected vets because of it. And on Thursday night, Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston wrote a report detailing some of the supposed dysfunction within the Red Sox organization and the dislike many players have for Valentine.
Edes mentions a bullpen coach that has little communication with Valentine, and he says Adrian Gonzalez and a few others don’t communicate with the manager much.
One player told Edes that Valentine doesn’t have the support of “anyone” in the clubhouse, but another player reportedly has “come around” on the manager.
Edes says there was an instance in Chicago when Valentine came out to visit the pitcher and Dustin Pedroia was the only infielder who didn’t join the conference at the mound. Pedroia verbally expressed his displeasure with Valentine’s treatment of Kevin Youkilis earlier in the season.
The Red Sox are 44-43 and poised to make a second-half run now that they’re getting some key players healthy. I think some of the disconnect and dysfunction in the organization stems from the transition from one regime to another. Any time you make leadership transitions there will be some people who are uncomfortable with the new leader, and that seems to be happening with Valentine. But I will say this much: Valentine has not helped himself. Not at all. He really blew it by running Youkilis out of town because he also lost some other veterans when he did that. And even though David Ortiz defended Valentine in May, the new manager is probably part of the reason he seems so unhappy in Boston right now. Taking over the Red Sox was going to be a tough task for whichever manager got the job, but I think the team made matters worse by going with Valentine.
H/T Hardball TalkGoogle+