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Monday, June 18, 2018

Bobby Valentine called Red Sox September roster weakest in history, then said it wasn’t a criticism

Bobby Valentine seems determined to use his last days as Red Sox manager to make sure no team hires him in the future.

When asked on Friday about the status of the team’s roster, Valentine took the question as an opportunity to bash his team.

“Are you kidding?” Valentine responded when asked if the Red Sox could use roster help. “This is the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball. It could use help everywhere.”

The Red Sox were last in the AL East when he made that remark, and they went on to win two straight at Toronto. Valentine tried “clarifying” his remarks before Sunday’s game.

“The other day when I made a comment about a September roster, that wasn’t meant to be a criticism of any players or anything in the organization,” Valentine said, per the Boston Herald. “It was just a statement of fact because of the injuries and our Triple-A team in the playoffs. This is different. We have less people than most September rosters. We have less positions filled than any September roster I’ve ever seen. If you thought that to be anything other than a statement of what it was, stand corrected on that.

“Usually a September roster has some starting pitchers who are waiting in the wings. Ours doesn’t. Usually a September roster has left-handed pinch-hitter types or pinch runners or five or six outfielders. We have four outfielders. That’s not like a September roster.”

As a result of injuries and trades, Boston’s current roster hardly resembles the opening day starting lineup. Kevin Youkilis was traded to the White Sox, and his replacement, Will Middlebrooks, is out for the season with an injury. So is David Ortiz. Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett were all traded to the Dodgers. Ryan Sweeney and Franklin Morales are also on the shelf. And former MVP Dustin Pedroia was not with the team at the time Valentine made his remarks because his wife had given birth.

But here’s the thing: even with those players, the Red Sox weren’t dominating. That’s why they made the trades. They still have enough players and pitching to win even without all those guys, and it’s Bobby Valentine’s job to try and make that happen, not to sit back and complain about things. He’s the manager and it’s his job to inspire his players. I’m not so sure trashing his roster is the best way to go about it. And saying that his comments were not a criticism doesn’t even make sense; they were a criticism.

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