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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bobby Valentine: David Ortiz quit on the Red Sox

Clearly Bobby Valentine is acting as a mouthp… nah, I can’t go that far even kidding around.

Speaking on tonight’s episode of Costas Tonight (10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network), Bobby Valentine is dishing out the blame for the fall of the 2012 Red Sox, starting with himself but then moving right along to none other than Big Papi:

David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week. 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.

The District Attorney Posted: October 23, 2012 at 08:05 PM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bobby valentine, crazy clown town, david ortiz, red sox

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   1. RJ in TO Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4281130)
This offseason in Boston is going to be hugely entertaining.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4281136)
Who knew that bridges were so flammable?
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4281138)
Hey, Bobby V is auditioning for media jobs now. Might as well be controversial and entertaining.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4281139)
This is news?
   5. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4281144)
Funny, I remember Ortiz limping on his way to first on one of those hits. He wasn't healed yet.

Bobby the fifth just can't resist being an #######.
   6. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4281148)
I think at that time it was all downhill from there.

Oh yeah, August 24, that's where it went downhill. ####### @sshat.
   7. Sweatpants Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4281153)
I would be shocked if Bobby Valentine gets another managing job. By far, his greatest ability is convincing people that he's a good manager, and it was obvious from day one in Boston that he no longer possessed that skill, without which he can't be a particularly attractive option to anyone.

The excerpt of the interview presented is just sad. "Things were all downhill" from a 60-66 start? Come on. The Bobby V. of old would have found an excuse for those first 126 games. And it really did seem, not so long ago, that he still could have looked like a good manager. He was great on TV, always sounding like he had all of the answers. Teams were still interested in him, even though he'd been out of the bigs for almost ten years. Then, poof, like the crafty lefty whom age finally catches, he just wasn't able to fool anyone anymore, seemingly losing the gift overnight.

Enjoy retirement, Bobby, and hats off to an ostensibly good career.
   8. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4281156)

I would be shocked if Bobby Valentine gets another managing job. By far, his greatest ability is convincing people that he's a good manager, and it was obvious from day one in Boston that he no longer possessed that skill, without which he can't be a particularly attractive option to anyone.


This is the thing that gets me about Bobby V. I won't deny that he did a crappy job of managing this year, but I just can't fathom where his talents went. He's not exactly old. He was a very, very good manager up until this year. What gives?
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4281172)
I'm a Sox fan and I can't help but be amused every time I see the crazy clown town tag. This team has earned every bit of the designation.
   10. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4281180)
David Ortiz: Bobby Valentine can eat a sack of pickled dicks.
   11. Mike A Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4281188)
He's not entirely wrong about the Sox going downhill from August 24th, though. Yeah, they were 60-66, but they had a +28 run differential which was roughly the same as Detroit and Oakland (and way ahead of Baltimore). They finished the season with a -72 run differential and barely won a game after the 24th. That's a pretty colossal slide.
   12. Darren Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4281196)
Yeah, he's just wrong about everything else... ever.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4281205)

Bobby Valentine: David Ortiz quit on the Red Sox


If only Bobby V had quit on the Red Sox, but, alas, he stayed around all year.
   14. Darren Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4281210)
I really do wonder if Valentine thinks at all before he speaks these days. How do you say this and think anything good will come of it?
   15. Tim D Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4281213)
Just why was it that the Sox hired this nutjob? He made a horse's a$$ of himself before spring training was over and the hits just kept on coming. What a spectacular fiasco. I have never been a Sox lover but I really hope the stench of this last 12 months gets left far, far behind, very soon. The AL is more fun with a Major League team in Boston as opposed to a night club routine.
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4281217)
You know, I am starting to think one of the key reasons they hired Farrell, and got it done quickly, was to have somebody with the polar opposite personality in place prior to Valentine officially unloading.

FWIW, Ortiz appears set to sign a two-year deal shortly, anyway. And why would Ortiz sit out while healthy for the rest of the season, in a year where he was entering the FA market? It makes no sense.

Frankly, I didn't give a #### who played after the Big Trade. We sucked, we had given up on the season, and the high point of the season was the day we unloaded $250 in future payroll commitments. I didn't care who was DH'ing from that point forward...
   17. BDC Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4281226)
He was a very, very good manager up until this year

Bobby V won a pennant in New York, and certainly deserves a lot of credit for that; the Mets are no easy gig. He was outstanding in Japan, obviously.

I don't know if that translates overall to being a "very, very good manager." As we often note here, managers have different types and personalities, and fit different situations better or worse than other managers might.

It's a long time ago now, but I followed Valentine's Rangers every day for several years. He was exceptionally good in Texas at, as Sweatpants says, "convincing people that he's a good manager." He had plans and theories and did odd stuff and had Tom House get out and throw the football with the pitchers. The pitchers were terrible, and Valentine did mercurial things with his players; he seemed to be on a constant mission here to prove he knew better than they did, and they were mostly young players so they went along with it, but never really got much better while he was here. (The exceptions were Charlie Hough and Nolan Ryan, who were too old to care who the manager was, and largely ignored Valentine.)

The Rangers did bring up a lot of talent, and Valentine knows talent when he sees it. But they were still mediocre. At least to judge from his Texas years, he doesn't deal easily with players as anything close to peers, and isn't interested in developing them if it distracts from his narrative of his own genius. That may have helped him in Japan (I honestly don't know). It certainly helped him in DFW. He had the profile here of a high-school football coach. He had a plan, the players were the problem if they couldn't execute it, nobody expected much of him, he talked a great show to media and high-rollers, and everyone put up with the mediocrity for quite a while. It is (or was then) the Texas way, don't question Coach.

One thing he had in overplus in Texas was patience – not patience with Oddibe McDowell if he overran second base or something, but patience with the media and management and life in general. It seems like his fuse has gotten shorter and shorter since.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4281233)
narrative of his own genius

he's the Charlie Weiss of baseball

("decided schematic advantage" division)
   19. Austin Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4281235)
Bobby Valentine is the gift that keeps on giving.
   20.  Hey Gurl Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4281260)
I read the colon as a comma.
   21. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4281266)
At least the Red Sox are being entertainingly terrible. It took a lot to outdo September 2011, but by golly they managed it!
   22. DFA Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4281274)
I still cannot believe the Sox hired him. These kinds of comments were entirely predictable. I just have a hard time limiting the blame to just Valentine.
   23. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4281276)
One thing he had in overplus in Texas was patience – not patience with Oddibe McDowell if he overran second base or something, but patience with the media and management and life in general. It seems like his fuse has gotten shorter and shorter since.

He always seemed pretty condescending towards the New York media. He had this tone of "I knew you were going to ask that stupid question and here's my canned response which I am being nice enough to give you." To be fair, it was one of the things I liked about him as Mets manager.
   24. Steve Treder Posted: October 24, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4281298)
I still cannot believe the Sox hired him. These kinds of comments were entirely predictable. I just have a hard time limiting the blame to just Valentine.

Agreed.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4281306)
bobby has become some marvel comics villain known as 'acid man' where he just sprays his acid indiscriminately while laughing hysterically

ya'know, that's a good villain right there.........
   26. John Northey Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:11 AM (#4281307)
Sox from Sept 1st to end...
2011: 7-20
2012: 7-22

Wow, took a lot to do worse than last year and they did it.
   27. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4281316)
This is the thing that gets me about Bobby V. I won't deny that he did a crappy job of managing this year, but I just can't fathom where his talents went. He's not exactly old. He was a very, very good manager up until this year. What gives?

He got stuck with a dysfunctional organization and a bunch of pampered, prima donna players -- several of whom wound up getting injured. The dysfunctional organization didn't give him time to build a base around which his talents could flourish.

The job they gave Bobby V was not a one-year job and the Red Sox are delusional to think it was.
   28. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4281349)
I was at Fenway for Ortiz' last game of the season. I was up in the State Street Pavilion, with an excellent view of the whole field. Ortiz could BARELY run. Limping badly, I though body parts were going to come flying off of him as he struggled into second. He was clearly still injured, and not lightly either.

Valentine's comments are complete 100% unadulterated Grade A bullshit.

I was pretty damned happy when they fired Valentine so decisively after the season, and as much as I loathed him I was happy for him just to go away. Now I'm actively rooting for him to suffer immense personal and professional failure in every part of his life. He's a total psychopath.
   29. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4281351)

The job they gave Bobby V was not a one-year job and the Red Sox are delusional to think it was.


Valentine was the wrong man for the wrong team hired at the wrong time by the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. And this was entirely 100% predictable at the moment it was announced. He then promptly spent the year proving that to be the case in every way.

Other than that it was a great hire.
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4281353)
   31. jyjjy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4281354)
Wow, took a lot to do worse than last year and they did it.

You mean playing two more games?
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4281357)
While I think that laying all the blame on Valentine for the shitty clubhouse is wrong, it's striking that Valentine seems to have chosen to attack the one guy who was trying him damnedest all season to make things work right and help the team win. From the Bradford story Jose linked:
Valentine to Costas: “David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week. 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.”

Here's the reality, one which Valentine, of all people should have remembered: When Ortiz came back from his injury for that August 24 game, he was far from healed. In fact, some put him at barely 75 percent, which was evident when watching the designated hitter run the bases during those two hits Valentine referenced. Ortiz was getting frustrated with not being able to contribute to what was a 60-66 team at the time, and demanded to play. Two weeks later, when the Red Sox were 63-76, the DH was still limping. But rather than conceding that his season was over, he sought a form of treatment -- a plasma-rich platelet injection -- in late-August with the hope that he could return, saving the more traumatic shockwave therapy (which would have been a season-ender) until after the conclusion of the year.

What made Valentine's comments even more tough to stomach was, by all accounts, Ortiz was one player who routinely stood up for Valentine in the midst of teammates' criticism. It was a tact that didn't go unnoticed by Valentine until, evidently, he sat across from Costas.
   33. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4281359)
Yes, MCoA, but of course that's been Valentine's MO all season: blame others, never acknowledge blame, lash out to deflect blame at all times by any means necessary, play the odious "who me?" game when his stupid comments cause problems.

We're seeing the real character of Valentine come through here and it's quite ugly. As you point out, Ortiz did support the manager during the season, and this is the thanks he gets.

   34. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4281365)
Whoever was managing the Red Sox when Ortiz quit on the team should have done something about it.
   35. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4281368)
Valentine was the wrong man for the wrong team hired at the wrong time by the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. And this was entirely 100% predictable at the moment it was announced. He then promptly spent the year proving that to be the case in every way.

Other than that it was a great hire.

This.

Yes, MCoA, but of course that's been Valentine's MO all season: blame others, never acknowledge blame, lash out to deflect blame at all times by any means necessary, play the odious "who me?" game when his stupid comments cause problems.

We're seeing the real character of Valentine come through here and it's quite ugly. As you point out, Ortiz did support the manager during the season, and this is the thanks he gets.


And this too.

The only point I'd quibble with is SJH's suggestion that we've learned something new about Valentine. IIRC, his propensity for trashing his players in the media was already well established long before now.

It seems to me that the Sox got close to exactly what they should have expected from Bobby V., which raises the question of what on earth possessed them to think hiring him was a good idea.
   36. AROM Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4281369)
saving the more traumatic shockwave therapy (which would have been a season-ender) until after the conclusion of the year.


That does sound traumatic. Any therapy would that involves a 40 foot tall, one eyed robot with a gun for an arm. And if that doesn't traumatize you, wait until he transforms into an even bigger gun. All while spouting logic as if he were a Vulcan.
   37. villageidiom Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4281370)
Edes: Valentine says the Middlebrooks incident didn't happen, even though it had been originally reported by Valentine.

You can't make this stuff up. Well, maybe Valentine can.

Middlebrooks confirms that it didn't happen, and Valentine is now on the same page. But that means back a few months Valentine made the story up, then later elaborated on it, to make a point that internal critics had petty problems with him.

So let's go over that again. A few months ago he wanted to demonstrate that people on the team had overblown problems with how he was running things. As evidence of this, he offered up an event he completely fabricated.
   38. bunyon Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4281380)
I think the Sox hired him to have a disastrous year which would let them unload their expensive contracts without appearing to be giving up on the season.


No, I don't really but that is how it worked out.
   39. hokieneer Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4281436)
I think the Sox hired him to have a disastrous year which would let them unload their expensive contracts without appearing to be giving up on the season.


No, I don't really but that is how it worked out.



So that would make Cherington a genius.
   40. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4281523)
Valentine was the wrong man for the wrong team hired at the wrong time by the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. And this was entirely 100% predictable at the moment it was announced. He then promptly spent the year proving that to be the case in every way.


On the plus side it gave ESPN something to talk about all season
   41. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4281535)
Valentine was the wrong man for the wrong team hired at the wrong time by the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. And this was entirely 100% predictable at the moment it was announced. He then promptly spent the year proving that to be the case in every way.

The only relevant question was, "Can Bobby Valentine lead the Red Sox to the playoffs and win in the playoffs, though perhaps not this year?"(*)

The correct answer was, "Yes."

You don't give the hiring of Bobby Valentine, with these players, one year.(**) That borders on incompetent.

(*) To get the right answer, you must ask the right questions.

(**) Any more than you conclude that someone like Jim Leyland was worthless and done after a year in Colorado.
   42. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4281540)
What made Valentine's comments even more tough to stomach was, by all accounts, Ortiz was one player who routinely stood up for Valentine in the midst of teammates' criticism. It was a tact that didn't go unnoticed by Valentine until, evidently, he sat across from Costas.

BV gets his revenge on the player who, by having his back, ensured that BV would suffer through the entire season as head bozo in clowntown.
   43. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4281547)
This part from the Bradford piece was pretty funny

There were other head-scratchers in the interview, such as a story about leaving three envelopes in the manager's office for the new manager, explaining who to blame if things go wrong. (According to those who have been through the office, those envelopes haven't yet been uncovered.)
   44. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4281551)
From the Edes piece linked in 37:
“The thing with Aviles, it was absolutely mind-boggling,’’ he said. “Guys came into my office and said, ‘Please, don’t yell at Mike like that.’… I’m still incredulous.’’

Later in the interview, he again referred to that incident.

“Was I surprised that guys came in in that situation?” he said. “Yeah. I think that’s unique to that group of guys. I don’t think it’s indigenous to all of baseball. I pray it’s not because it’s not functional. The tail is wagging the dog, and taking a vote every time you have to decide how to do things.

“A leader needs to lead. He leads by forming the path, padding down the path and other people following him. You can’t have the guy at the back of the line coming up and deciding which direction you’re going to go in.”


sounds not like a manager but like some management/motivator guru presentation, which is perhaps what happened to BV: he started believing what he spiels for 20 grand a pop.

"Indigenous to baseball"? Ask Jacoby?
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4281581)
The 3 envelopes thing is an old joke. Costas didn't recognize it and seemed to think Bobby actually left 3 envelopes.
   46. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4281587)
What's the third envelope? I've always heard it as two envelopes...

Envelope 1 - "Blame the predecessor"

Envelope 2 - "Prepare two envelopes"
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4281590)
Envelope 2 - Blame the players/employees
Envelope 3 - Prepare 3 envelopes
   48. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4281593)
sounds not like a manager but like some management/motivator guru presentation, which is perhaps what happened to BV: he started believing what he spiels for 20 grand a pop.

"Indigenous to baseball"? Ask Jacoby?


Sounds more like a guy perplexed to find himself stuck with players so mentally and emotionally brittle that they can't function if you raise your voice at them. Those people are tough to lead, and I wouldn't want to lead them -- unless their talent made it such that I had no choice. A bunch of third parties coming in and telling me how to manage particular players makes it even worse.

As noted previously, the Red Sox were entirely dysfunctional this year, from top to bottom. The biggest organizational problem is blurred lines of authority and overly-empowered and uncoachable players. Inexplicably, though more than worthy of them, Valentine was not afforded the typical prerogatives of a field manager, from not getting most or all of his coaches to not being properly backed in squabbles with players. That is a recipe for disaster.
   49. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4281621)
Valentine was not afforded the typical prerogatives of a field manager, from not getting most or all of his coaches to not being properly backed in squabbles with players.

This, to put it baldly, is crap. There's hasn't been a Sox manager that's hired all his own coaches in, well, forever. Jimy didn't, Grady didn't, Tito didn't. Only Valentine could be so fundamentally broken at his job that this issue became a problem.

And Valentine PICKED SQUABBLES with his players, for no good ####### reason at all. From acting like an ass towards Aviles on Day 1 of spring training to attacking Youkilis to the idiocy of insulting Middlebrooks, he's been the guy starting problems.

The Sox had a $170 million roster going into the season and missed the playoffs by 1 game in 2011. Let's not pretend that Valentine was handed the keys to a '58 DeSoto and told to go win the Daytona 500 with it.
   50. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 24, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4281636)
This, to put it baldly, is crap. There's hasn't been a Sox manager that's hired all his own coaches in, well, forever. Jimy didn't, Grady didn't, Tito didn't.

None of those guys were as accomplished as managers when they came to Boston. Nor were they as stubborn as Valentine. If you hire Valentine, you let him hire his own coaches, at least the large majority of his coaches. Not letting him do that is idiotic.

The Red Sox lifted barely a finger to help Valentine be successful. That practically defines dysfunction.
   51. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4281643)
Valentine hadn't managed in the big leagues in 10 years. He was no more accomplished than they were.

Valentine made his own bed, seeded it with hand grenades, and pulled the pins on each one. He's utterly responsible for his own demise. He deserves zero sympathy or pity.
   52. Jittery McFrog Posted: October 24, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4281714)
The only relevant question was, "Can Bobby Valentine lead the Red Sox to the playoffs and win in the playoffs, though perhaps not this year?"(*)

The correct answer was, "Yes."


That is neither the correct answer nor the correct question.

The question should be more like, "Given the team and situation, is Bobby Valentine the manager who is most (or among the most) likely to maximize the teams's chances of success?"

The correct answer is "no". Not because the Sox missed the playoffs -- that was a symptom with multiple causes -- but because all evidence points to Valentine harming the team's chances.

If there is doubt about the latter, the follow-up question is: "In what aspects of managing was Bobby Valentine not terrible in 2012?"

I'll spot you one: He got a few good performances from some marginal players like Podsednik.

Others?
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 24, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4281754)
The question should be more like, "Given the team and situation, is Bobby Valentine the manager who is most (or among the most) likely to maximize the teams's chances of success?"

That's a one-year question. If you're hiring someone to maximize your 2012 chances, it isn't Bobby Valentine. Keeping Francona would have been a better idea.
   54. Jittery McFrog Posted: October 24, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4281811)
It's also the multi-year question, as long a one understands success in the long term.

In neither case was Bobby Valentine the answer; he did nothing to improve the team's chances in 2013 by being terrible in 2012.*

(*Except perhaps insofar as his badness helped cause the Dodger trade, but it's a stretch to give him credit for that, no?)
   55. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 24, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4281824)
In neither case was Bobby Valentine the answer; he did nothing to improve the team's chances in 2013 by being terrible in 2012.*

We'll never know. He should have been supported in trying to weed out the pampered, emotionally brittle players he inherited. That would have been far better for the long-term success of the team than not supporting him and bailing after a year. The pampered, emotionally brittle players have now driven out two managers in two years. It's going to be very difficult for the organization to overcome that in the short and medium term and the short and medium term outlook for the organization would be better had they backed Valentine.
   56. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4281882)

We'll never know. He should have been supported in trying to weed out the pampered, emotionally brittle players he inherited. That would have been far better for the long-term success of the team than not supporting him and bailing after a year. The pampered, emotionally brittle players have now driven out two managers in two years. It's going to be very difficult for the organization to overcome that in the short and medium term and the short and medium term outlook for the organization would be better had they backed Valentine.


I am very curious as to what exactly you think the Red Sox should have done to support Bob V. in weeding out the pampered emotionally brittle players. Does trading Youkilis, Crawford, Beckett and Gonzalez not do exactly that?

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