After seeing the Yahoo! Sports report on Tuesday about several Red Sox players ripping Bobby Valentine in a meeting with the owners last month, all indications are that Valentine has lost his clubhouse in his first year as manager in Boston. The team has not turned things around from its epic September collapse last year, and many of them feel the need to find somewhere to point their fingers. Dustin Pedroia insists he is not one of those players.
“I don’t think Bobby should be fired,” Pedroia after Tuesday night’s loss to the Orioles according to the Boston Herald. “Listen, we haven’t played well. That’s the bottom line. I’m not going to blame anything on Bobby. It’s on the players. Last year wasn’t on Tito (Terry Francona). I know he took it hard. We all did. It’s on the players, man.”
With Jason Varitek having retired and Kevin Youkilis now playing in Chicago, Pedroia is the supposed leader of the Red Sox. However, part of Tuesday’s bombshell report included a story about a photo that is circulating through the organization that shows Bobby V. apparently sleeping and a caption that reads “Our manager contemplating his lineup at 3:30 p.m.” If you remember, Dustin was also very vocal in voicing his displeasure about Valentine earlier in the season when Bobby questioned Youkilis’ motivation.
While I agree that Valentine needs to be fired if he can’t earn the respect of the team, that doesn’t mean I blame him in any way for what has happened this season in Boston. This team embarrassed itself last September when Bobby V. wasn’t around, and they’ve managed to do it again this season. The party animal attitude and sense of entitlement around the Red Sox clubhouse has poisoned the team. Valentine is nothing more than a victim of circumstance.
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