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David Ortiz pins a lot of the Red Sox’s 2012 woes on Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine was a dead man walking the day the Boston Red Sox announced he would be their next manager last winter. Not only was he the wrong man for the job, but I highly doubt anyone would have been able to clean up Boston’s mess and lead a playoff charge. The Red Sox won only 69 games and finished in last in the AL East, and David Ortiz feels that Valentine was one of the main reasons why.

“A lot of players had a lot of issues with our manager last year,’’ Ortiz said according to ESPNBoston.com. “We have a new manager this year, a guy who is familiar with the organization, a guy we pretty much grew up around him. That’s John [Farrell].

“A team is like a human body. If the head is right, the body is going to function right, but if the head is messed up, then the body is going to be all over the place. It seems like that was part of our situation last year. Guys weren’t comfortable with the manager we had. Guys were struggling. Even in situations as a player you need to handle better, sometimes you get confused and get caught in a situation where you don’t know how you’re going to react with them.”

Ortiz was one of the few players who defended Valentine early on last year, but their relationship has since gone south thanks to Valentine’s claim that Ortiz had no interest in trying at the end of last season. Big Papi went on to say that he was concerned about Valentine’s approach during spring training last year, when the former manager had what Ortiz thought was an unorthodox style in leading drills and workouts.

Here’s what needs to happen in Boston: when players are asked about Bobby V., they need to tell reporters than he’s not there anymore and the team is moving forward. There should be no comparing Valentine and Farrell. Last year was one to forget in Boston. It’s time to turn the page.

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

David Ortiz: Bobby Valentine ‘must have some mental issues or needs medicine’

A little over a week ago, Bobby Valentine made his first public appearance since being fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox. As expected, he had plenty to say. Bobby V.’s comments about David Ortiz quitting on the team were easily the most noteworthy thing he said during his interview with Bob Costas. Ortiz responded to that accusation on Monday.

For starters, Big Papi said the decision for him to shut it down for the season after returning from the disabled list was one made by team doctors and had nothing to do with the megadeal between the Red Sox and Dodgers. Then, he had the following to say to ESPNDeportes.com about his former manager.

No. 3, after he went on national TV to say what he said, he sent me a text message trying to tell me that it was the media trying to change things. I did not respond to the message and I said to myself, this guy must have some mental issues or needs medicine or something? I said, I am dealing with someone crazy and I am not going to drive myself crazy, so it is better if I leave it alone.”

It’s easy to understand where Ortiz is coming from. The media didn’t try to twist anything. Valentine made the comments and there was only one way to interpret them. In addition to that, Ortiz was one of the few players who reportedly defended Bobby V. toward the beginning of the season when people were calling for his head. If Valentine made me look bad on national television for seemingly no reason, I wouldn’t want to hear what he had to say either.

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Bobby Valentine: David Ortiz quit on Red Sox after big trade with Dodgers

Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine appeared on “Costas Tonight” with Bob Costas on Monday night in his first interview since the team fired him following the season. Since Boston parted ways with Valentine, we have been waiting see who he will blame for the abysmal season Red Sox fans just endured.

To his credit, Bobby V. blamed himself above all others and told Costas, “It was my fault.” However, he did take some time to throw David Ortiz under the bus. Valentine said Ortiz gave up on the season after Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto were traded to the Dodgers.

“David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week,” Valentine said. “He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that this trade meant that we’re not going to run this race and we’re not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there.”

As Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk pointed out, the Red Sox were 60-66 when Ortiz returned from the disabled list. He certainly would have added pop to the lineup, but how many wins can a DH account for? The fact that he was hot in his first few plate appearances hardly means Boston was “off to the races.”

Ortiz did a great job of acting if he truly didn’t hurt himself while running out a double, but that’s beside the point. If Valentine is telling the truth and Ortiz gave up, that is obviously a bush league move and not something a leader would do. It does not, however, mean the end result would have been any different. Check out Bobby V.’s full interview below:

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ESPN accidentally aired report saying Bobby Valentine was coming back for second season (Video)

ESPN was so prepared for the Red Sox to make an announcement on Thursday about the future of Bobby Valentine that they had Tim Kurkjian create two television reports: one in case Valentine were fired, and the other in case the Red Sox brought him back. Even though it was like 99.99999% certain Valentine would not be back, the network wanted to make sure they were prepared for either scenario.

Unfortunately, after the Red Sox announced Valentine would not be back, SportsCenter aired the report saying he would be returning. The result was a humorous conflicting message from ESPN; the scroll on the left side of the screen read “Bobby Valentine fired,” while Kurkjian was telling us in a prerecorded report that he’d be receiving a second chance.

“Valentine is getting a second chance because he never had his A-team on the field for even one minute this season,” the report said. “Major injuries to (Carl) Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey and others, had Valentine juggling new lineups everyday. He’s getting a second chance because the vaunted rotation once led by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester was terrible.”

ESPN quickly realized the error and pulled the report before it was done running. This sort of mistake is nothing new in broadcasting and print, but it sure produced a funny moment.

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Bobby Valentine crashes his bike while reading a text from Dustin Pedroia

Can you think of a more appropriate ending to the disastrous season the Red Sox have had than Bobby Valentine crashing his bicycle while reading a text message from Dustin Pedroia? Neither can we. While we certainly don’t want to see anyone get hurt, that’s the situation the world has presented us with.

According to the New York Times, Valentine — an avid cyclist — was riding on a slippery path in Central Park when he got a text from his second baseman. He looked up after reading it and realized he had swerve to avoid two tourists who were walking in front of him, which caused him to lose his balance and crash into a ditch next to the Central Park Reservoir. He suffered minor injuries to his knees and hips.

“I shouldn’t have been reading a text while I was riding,” he said. “That’s the wrong thing to do. But at least I was wearing my helmet.”

If you shouldn’t text and drive, you shouldn’t text and ride. As for the text, Bobby V. said Pedroia was informing him that he would play in Tuesday night’s game against the Yankees despite a broken ring finger on his left hand. Although the season is a lost cause for Boston, Pedroia has said he is trying to set an example for the team’s younger players by letting them know being in the majors means playing through injuries.

“Hey, if he can play with that, I can certainly manage with this,” Valentine said.

Not to mention, he should enjoy his managerial career while it lasts. After a season in which he made some mind-boggling coaching decisions, Tuesday and Wednesday night are likely the last two times Bobby V. will ever manage an MLB team.

H/T WEEI.com

Bobby Valentine pinch hits for Jose Iglesias on a 2-2 count

Jose Iglesias is the most promising fielding prospect in the Red Sox farm system, but the shortstop can’t hit. His bat is nowhere close to major league-ready, but Boston’s roster is thin enough right now amid their lost season that guys like Iglesias are being given a chance to prove their worth. After he worked a 2-2 count with a man on base in the top of the seventh on Sunday, Bobby Valentine took that chance away from the young prospect.

The Red Sox manager opted to sit Iglesias down for pinch-hitter Daniel Nava. Again, the count was 2-2 when the move was made. Pedro Ciriaco was on first when Iglesias’ at-bat began but Valentine decided to go with Nava once Ciriaco stole second to get into scoring position.

“Just trying to get a run for Jon (Lester), obviously,” Valentine explained according to WEEI.com. “I told Daniel, if we steal second, you got it. Otherwise, I was all set to play defense in a nothing-nothing game. Once a guy gets to second base, I figured take a shot on a base hit. It’s tough. Jon’s pitching such a good game is what it is. You get him a run there and he wins a ballgame. He’s battling, too. It’s not about one guy. It’s about a whole group of guys.”

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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.