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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Passan: Red Sox Clubhouse Mutinies Against Bobby Valentine Via Text Message

Pls fire BV ok thx bye lol

Boston Red Sox players blasted manager Bobby Valentine to owners John Henry and Larry Lucchino during a heated meeting called after a text message was sent by a group of frustrated players to the team and ownership in late July, three sources familiar with the meeting told Yahoo! Sports.

The owners called the meeting for Boston’s off-day in New York on July 26 after first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, texting on behalf of himself and some teammates, aired their dissatisfaction with Valentine for embarrassing starting pitcher Jon Lester by leaving him in to allow 11 runs during a July 22 start. It was the latest incident in a season’s worth of bad relations bubbling between Red Sox players and Valentine.

Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia were among the most vocal in the meeting, in which some players stated flatly they no longer wanted to play for Valentine, the sources said. The tenor of the 2 p.m. meeting at The Palace hotel in New York turned ugly almost immediately, according to the sources, whom Yahoo! Sports granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about internal matters.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:56 PM | 147 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bobby valentine, crazy clown town, red sox

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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4208291)
Kaboom.

At this point ownership needs to pick a side. Either they have to give Valentine authority and start trading people like Pedroia, Gonzalez, etc...and do a complete overhaul or they need to fire Valentine. I hate Valentine so booting him out the door is my preference but I can respect the alternate position. What is not acceptable is continuing this fiasco anymore. It's Valentine or the players.
   2. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4208295)
Pedroia, notorious among teammates for his wit and humor, is in the foreground with a giddy smile, his tongue wagging and both thumbs up. Next to him is allegedly Valentine, face down on a table, apparently asleep. A caption accompanies the picture: "Our manager contemplating his lineup at 3:30 p.m."

What a great clubhouse. Nothing but stand up, high character guys. I can see why they stood pat at the deadline. Wouldn't want to break up this group of winners.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4208296)
When's the last time a team had *two* managers lose the clubhouse in less that a year?

Reminds me of Caine Mutiny when Willie is glad to see De Vries go and to get Queeg.
   4. McCoy Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4208300)
Well, I'm sure the Cubs during the College of Coaches days had managers lose the clubhouse every other week or at least got lost trying to find it.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4208301)
At this point ownership needs to pick a side. Either they have to give Valentine authority and start trading people like Pedroia, Gonzalez, etc...and do a complete overhaul or they need to fire Valentine. I hate Valentine so booting him out the door is my preference but I can respect the alternate position. What is not acceptable is continuing this fiasco anymore. It's Valentine or the players.
These are the same players that quit on Terry Francona. I think that it's not an either/or situation, it's a both/and situation.

There have been more than enough reports of jackassery from Bobby V, and now further reports of him not putting in the hours expected of a manager. (Screwing up the platoon lineup because he looked it up on his phone, being mocked for napping in the clubhouse.) I don't see any reason to keep him around.

But the problem of clubhouse culture has now been retained over two very different (and previously very successful) managers. I don't see how you can keep this core together and expect good things to happen under a different manager.
   6. JC in DC Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4208303)
But the problem of clubhouse culture has now been retained over two very different (and previously very successful) managers. I don't see how you can keep this core together and expect good things to happen under a different manager.


So blow it all up? Really? Did Gonzalez have this rep before Boston? Isn't this a function of losing? I would think you just deep six Bobby, which seemed an awfully volatile and odd pick given prior clubhouse problems, and build around solid players like Pedroia and Gonzalez.
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4208306)
These are the same players that quit on Terry Francona. I think that it's not an either/or situation, it's a both/and situation.

There have been more than enough reports of jackassery from Bobby V, and now further reports of him not putting in the hours expected of a manager. (Screwing up the platoon lineup because he looked it up on his phone, being mocked for napping in the clubhouse.) I don't see any reason to keep him around.

But the problem of clubhouse culture has now been retained over two very different (and previously very successful) managers. I don't see how you can keep this core together and expect good things to happen under a different manager.


+1

Bobby V has been nothing short of a disaster, but you can't turn a blind eye to the players rising up against their last two managers in the span of a year.

There's blood (and chicken grease) on everyone's hands.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4208307)
Well, in the Caine Mutiny, they brought in a temporary captain who was completly by the book. (The book being don't be a players manager and don't be a 'character'. Be boring and get the job done.) and they scattered most of the crew among the fleet.
   9. asinwreck Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4208308)
I'd be stunned if Valentine is still in the dugout when rosters expand. The more interesting issue is whether John Henry hangs Valentine's failure on Larry Lucchino.

   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4208309)

But the problem of clubhouse culture has now been retained over two very different (and previously very successful) managers. I don't see how you can keep this core together and expect good things to happen under a different manager.


I'm involved in a situation at my office right now that has me feeling otherwise. Right now we have a lot of people who are coming in late, leaving early, taking long lunches, etc...not by hours, by minutes, but enough that it's becoming frustrating. As a result I got to lead a company meeting where we basically told everyone "knock this #### off." No one got fired, no one got disciplined, but we made it clear that this was the one and only warning.

I think the Sox players are in a similar situation. I don't think there was a dramatic moment last year, I think it was probably more a 1, 2 or 3 year process of declining standards and no one ever told them to grow up. Suddenly, they were thrust into a completely different scenario with Valentine and they've reacted badly. I think had the Sox brought in a steadying voice that kept the general culture intact (protect the players publicly, that sort of thing) while making it clear that some of the stuff had to change they would have been fine. I think if they go that route now, they can still save this core, the alternative is to trade away a hell of a lot of talent which I think would be a mistake.

But you may be right of course.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4208310)
So blow it all up? Really? Did Gonzalez have this rep before Boston? Isn't this a function of losing?
1) I don't think the players are bad human beings. I think that the clubhouse culture is toxic. This can happen with any group of mostly perfectly normal high-level athletes, since most of them are crazy people. Once you have a bad clubhouse environment, I'm skeptical you can get it back to normal just by bringing in a new manager. They tried doing that this year, and it failed, and the players have rebelled against their manager once again.

2) I don't think the Red Sox should sell everything that isn't nailed down. I think they should err on the side of making moves, and make sure to trade enough established players that the clubhouse gets that things are changing.
   12. Swedish Chef Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4208314)
The solution is obvious: Dustin Pedroia, player-manager.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4208315)
This article inevitably leads to new rounds of media inquiries about subjects that players (& Bobby V) probably don't want to address on the record. So, it's not getting better anytime soon.
   14. McCoy Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4208316)
The Red Sox need to back up the money dumptruck onto Peter's and Buck's lawns.
   15. JC in DC Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4208319)
Understood, Matt. I guess what I'm wondering about is basing the logic of your argument on Bobby V. Typically, I'd say you're right: same players run through two managers, maybe it's the players or toxic environment. But when the Sox went with Bobby V, I thought much of the reaction, here and elsewhere, rightly questioned the wisdom of this choice. Bobby was not a "Jack McKeon" type, not a hardass guy in contrast to Francona, but a very volatile, highly self-promoting fella that seemed to be hit or miss regardless of the clubhouse. To put it simply, hiring Bobby V to ANY team would seem a fifty-fifty proposition. That it seems to have failed is as explicable in those terms as it is in terms of a toxic clubhouse.

That said, I don't follow the Sox as closely as you, and I'm sure I'm missing parts of the narrative.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4208320)
I think had the Sox brought in a steadying voice that kept the general culture intact (protect the players publicly, that sort of thing) while making it clear that some of the stuff had to change they would have been fine. I think if they go that route now, they can still save this core, the alternative is to trade away a hell of a lot of talent which I think would be a mistake.
This is reasonable. I may be overreacting.

I just, I mean, wasn't this precisely the justification for hiring Bobby Valentine? I feel like I wrote the exact same paragraph this spring as a description of the Red Sox' plan for 2012.

Now, it's easy to point out two key ways the Red Sox screwed this up. First, they picked Bobby Valentine. Second, they didn't give Bobby Valentine full authority over the coaching staff to run things as he saw fit. So maybe they had the right plan with the wrong execution.

EDIT: This is all by way of saying, then, that JC may also be entirely right, along with Jose.
   17. tjm1 Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4208321)

These are the same players that quit on Terry Francona. I think that it's not an either/or situation, it's a both/and situation.


Pedroia and Gonzalez? Pedroia hit .304/.336/.491 last September, and Gonzalez hit .318/.455/.523; those were basically the only two guys who showed up last September. Gonzalez is also doing his best hitting of this year now, while all of this is going on - he's hitting .393 since the all-star break. Pedroia also seems to have finally gotten hot, and was probably slumping only because he came back too soon from a wrist injury. This will be a down-year for Pedey statistically, but I think if you just look at the times he's been healthy, he'll have been as good this year as any year.

I understand that two different managers seem to have lost control, but the players they lost are, for the most part, different guys. Even if Pedroia and Gonzalez are unhappy, there's no sign it's affecting their performances. I'd find another player's manager and ship out whichever guys lack the self-discipline to succeed with a player's manager in charge.


   18. Guapo Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4208322)
The solution is simple: trade Bobby Valentine to the Astros for Brad Mills.
   19. SteveF Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4208324)
The problem on the team is the attitude that someone other than Jon Lester is embarrassing Jon Lester when Jon Lester gives up 11 runs. Look in the ####### mirror.
   20. karlmagnus Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4208326)
Peter who? I presume Buck is Showalter. Personally I think the Duquette/Showalter team (with Lucchino out on his ear) would be a vast improvement, the best management the team have had since Ed Barrow, but I suppose that's impossible.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4208327)
The Red Sox need to back up the money dumptruck onto Peter's and Buck's lawns.


He was fine as a guitarist, but do you think he could manage a big-league squad?
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4208329)
These are the same players that quit on Terry Francona. I think that it's not an either/or situation, it's a both/and situation.

Pedroia and Gonzalez? Pedroia hit .304/.336/.491 last September, and Gonzalez hit .318/.455/.523; those were basically the only two guys who showed up last September.
There were a lot of guys at this meeting.

More importantly, I don't think that "losing the clubhouse" refers to a manager directly causing specific "lost" players to play badly. It refers to a dysfunctional work environment, in which the authority of the manager is not properly respected, which leads to a variety of different outcomes, most of them bad. The effects are unpredictable, and one-month samples of slash lines don't tell you which individual players have been "lost". People is complicated.
   23. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4208331)
The solution is simple: trade Bobby Valentine to the Astros for Brad Mills.


I actually think there is something to this. The Sox have had some issues dating back to 2010 which was the first year Mills wasn't with them. That was the year of Youk vs. Ellsbury and laughable medical mishaps and of course the first non-playoff year in this stretch. I wouldn't be shocked if Mills would be the perfect guy to bring in.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4208332)
... and people scoffed at the clubhouse soothing benefits of Varitek's intangibles and Manny's hand towels!
   25. Dale Sams Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4208333)
heh
   26. asinwreck Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4208337)

He was fine as a guitarist, but do you think he could manage a big-league squad?


He likes baseball and is no longer tied up with REM...
   27. Guapo Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4208338)
A few odd things about this article:

(1) Was Valentine present at the "heated meeting?" My impression from the article was no, but it doesn't seem to be clear.

(2) What was the follow-up with Valentine after the meeting? The article doesn't say.

(3) It strikes me as odd that Cherington goes on record confirming the meeting while "the team" declines to comment- but maybe I'm just reading into that.
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4208339)
If I'm Henry, I say "You got the manager you want fired last year."

   29. zonk Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4208340)
Much as I agree with MCoA that the facts indicate it's really a both/and situation -- managers who at least don't muck things up are much easier and cheaper to come by than all-star level players.

I doubt there'd be any shortage of interested parties if Boston wanted to shop Gonz or Pedroia... but that still seems like a pretty bad idea to me. It's not like a Carlos Zambrano situation where in addition to becoming clubhouse poison, he's also performed into near worthlessness.

I guess the problem is that Boston needs 1)a player's manager, but also 2)one who commands respect. Billy Martin is dead, Leyland and Showalter seem pretty content in their current situations, and Lou is probably retired for good.

Who's really left that fits that bill? It would seem like you almost HAVE to have someone with experience... Davey Johnson? But he's pretty well set in Washington.

Could the Marlins interest you in a slightly used Ozzie Guillen? He's got a ring! Imagine the fun you could have!
   30. asinwreck Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4208341)
Bobby Valentine managing the 2013 Houston Astros would be fun.
   31. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4208342)
The Red Sox need to back up the money dumptruck onto Peter's and Buck's lawns.


He was fine as a guitarist, but do you think he could manage a big-league squad?

Absolutely! He now plays bass for the Baseball Project. How much more qualified can you get?

Could he really be any worse than Bobby V?

Edit: Dammit, Coke to asinwreck for #26.
   32. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4208344)
I think the problem is Bill James.
   33. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4208346)
Whitey Herzog is available, and I'm sure he'll listen if the Red Sox call.
   34. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4208347)
These are the same players that quit on Terry Francona.


I can see why you would feel that way, but if I ran Boston, I wouldn't be looking to trade Pedroia and Gonzalez. It is certainly not all his fault, but ISTM that Valentine has to go.
   35. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4208348)
Also, if I'm Henry, I say, "I don't have free texts! Step off!"

What do you think the text said? "We h8 V-tine?"

*EDIT*

Coke to MCoA; I didn't see his lead-in.
   36. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4208349)
Before that roster shall beat him down, he'll die with the chicken bone in his hand.
   37. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4208351)
I guess the problem is that Boston needs 1)a player's manager, but also 2)one who commands respect. Billy Martin is dead, Leyland and Showalter seem pretty content in their current situations, and Lou is probably retired for good.

Who's really left that fits that bill?


Joe Paterno isn't doing anything...
   38. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4208352)
aired their dissatisfaction with Valentine for embarrassing starting pitcher Jon Lester by leaving him in to allow 11 runs during a July 22 start.

Boo-#######-hoo.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4208353)
These are the same players that quit on Terry Francona.

I can see why you would feel that way, but if I ran Boston, I wouldn't be looking to trade Pedroia and Gonzalez. It is certainly not all his fault, but ISTM that Valentine has to go.
By "these" I didn't mean Pedroia and Gonzalez alone. The 2012 Red Sox are about 75% composed of the 2011 Red Sox.
   40. Guapo Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4208354)
I hear Taylor Grey Mayer is still available.
   41. asinwreck Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4208355)
Joe Paterno isn't doing anything...


At all.

Would this mean Joe Posnanski follows the KC-Boston path Bill James forged? (With a detour through North Carolina?) A reanimated JoPa leading the 2013 Red Sox would be worthy of the title The Great Experiment.
   42. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4208357)
By "these" I didn't mean Pedroia and Gonzalez alone. The 2012 Red Sox are about 75% composed of the 2011 Red Sox.



Sure, but these issues tend to escalate mostly when the best players on the team are involved. Bill James once said that the only non-negotiable part of a manager's job is the ability to command the respect of his players. Pedroia may (or may not) be an a-hole, but he is a lot tougher to replace than Valentine will be.
   43. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4208358)
My philosophy is the lead players get to run one manager out of town and if they ask me to run another manager out of town I'm getting a new group of lead players.

Bobby Valentine ruffles feathers. If the Red Sox didn't know that before they hired him, they didn't do their homework and if they weren't going to stand by him when the feather-ruffled ##### about him, they never should have hired him.
   44. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4208359)
Bill James once said that the only non-negotiable part of a manager's job is the ability to command the respect of his players.

That's wrong. Some people aren't emotionally intelligent or mature enough to respect that which should be respected. If that happens to be a team's best players, the team's going to have trouble.
   45. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4208360)
Sure, but these issues tend to escalate mostly when the best players on the team are involved. Bill James once said that the only non-negotiable part of a manager's job is the ability to command the respect of his players. Pedroia may (or may not) be an a-hole, but he is a lot tougher to replace than Valentine will be.
Certainly true. But as I've been arguing, it's not clear to me that this clubhouse is manageable. I think something** needs to be done, beyond just firing the manager, to change the culture.

Obviously All-Stars are hard to replace, but the counterpoint is that a toxic clubhouse is hard to replace as well. If they try again with the new manager / same players deal, should we really be confident that the problems which felled the 2011-2012 Red Sox won't arise again?

**I'm being intentionally vague because I don't know (a) what the trade of value of individual Red Sox are / how replaceable individual players are, or (b) which players' removal would be more or less likely to change the culture or be perceived as a re-establishment of managerial authority.
   46. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4208362)
Some people aren't emotionally intelligent or mature enough to respect that which should be respected.


Perhaps. But I would rather try to find a guy who can get along with Pedroia than yoke myself to Valentine.
   47. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4208363)
Some people aren't emotionally intelligent or mature enough to respect that which should be respected. If that happens to be a team's best players, the team's going to have trouble.
Pretty much everyone on the Red Sox has years of being perfectly good teammates and players. A lot of these guys were part of the 2007-2009 core that was highly successful and highly organized. I don't see any reason to assume that individual players are now irretrievably lost to permanent jackassery.

Also, the thing that Bill James said is exactly correct. Lots of professional ballplayers are jackasses - the game selects for jackasses, it helps to have ego pouring out of your ears if you want to be a a pro ballplayer. The manager has to manage jackasses, and when he can't do that, he can't keep his job.
   48. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4208364)
Cherrington: "Since then, we have not gone on the run we were supposed to."

Well, they traded Shoppach before he could turn on the sprinkler system overnight and get the much-needed rain out.

That's what happens when you don't watch the movie all the way through.
   49. Tripon Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4208366)
Is there really an issue? The two guys who hate the manager s guts are he same two people playing well.
   50. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4208367)
Also, the thing that Bill James said is exactly correct. Lots of professional ballplayers are jackasses - the game selects for jackasses, it helps to have ego pouring out of your ears if you want to be a a pro ballplayer. The manager has to manage jackasses, and when he can't do that, he can't keep his job.

I'm not equating misplaced respect/disrespect and jackassery. Plenty of jackasses know who and what to respect.

You need to get jackasses to play for you. You don't have to get them to "respect" you, pace James.

Gonzalez and Pedroia look like they're blaming other people for their failures. That can't be rewarded.
   51. tjm1 Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4208369)
Would it be crazy to bring Jason Varitek in as the interim manager for the rest of the season and see how he works out? Is he doing anything right now? I get the impression that the players all like and respect him. He might be a terrible managers, but we'd have a month and a half to see.
   52. Guapo Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4208371)
Buster Olney tweets:

There were 17 players in the group that met with Red Sox ownership.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4208372)
Is there really an issue? The two guys who hate the manager s guts are he same two people playing well.
It can't be proven, statistically, that the Boston Red Sox' clubhouse problems caused them to lose games. It's certainly possible that the 2011 and 2012 Red Sox were felled by normal baseball problems - injuries, bad luck, players not being as good as projected. In both 2011 and 2012, lots of guys got injured, and on top of that they underplayed expected wins by about 15 games. Then after a 2011 season where the stars overperformed but the club couldn't win, they underperformed significantly in 2012. Losing breeds contempt, and the clubhouse issues are a function of losing, which is in turn a function of injuries, bad luck, plus some of the players being worse than projected.

That could be case. It can't be dismissed out of hand.

But I think you can acknowledge that the hypothesis that a toxic clubhouse has caused the Red Sox to underperform in a number of ways. Bad communication leads to bad treatment and bad recoveries from injuries. The lack of property authority structures leads to various complex problems willy-nilly, including guys playing badly because they're unhappy, players not maintaining their conditioning, not being fully mentally or physically ready in clutch situations, who knows what exactly. It doesn't need to be the particular named ringleaders of the mutiny being particularly bad (though both Pedroia and Gonzalez have produced well below their projected level this season).
   54. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4208375)
14 August 2012 "Sox Therapy" takes on a whole new meaning.
   55. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4208378)
At 119 and 98 OPS+s, respectively, Gonzalez and Pedroia have no standing to ##### about the manager five months into his tenure. The right message is: "Play better. You aren't doing your job well enough to spend time worrying about how other people are doing there's. Maybe if you paid more attention to your job and didn't waste time and energy on others', you'd actually be producing."
   56. McCoy Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4208380)
Dale Svuem is availabl.
   57. asinwreck Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4208382)
If Olney is correct, it is mind-boggling that Valentine is still there.
   58. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4208383)
If Olney is correct, it is mind-boggling that Valentine is still there.

Why? The players are obviously looking to blame anyone but themselves for their poor performance.

Play better.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4208384)
To be clear, I don't think that clubhouse problems were the only thing wrong with the Sox. Bad luck and injuries and players underperformance aren't merely effects of the single underlying cause of the crapulence. These sorts of things are always overdetermined. I just think that the toxic clubhouse is part of the problem, and I'm not convinced that simply firing the manager will fix the problem.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4208386)
SBB - isn't it possible for the players to be jackasses and for the manager to be falling down on the job? Valentine has badmouthed his players to press multiple times this season for no apparent reason, there are numerous stories of him being an aloof dick in the clubhouse or the dugout, and there are a couple stories of him being under-prepared for a game. Even if the players hadn't text-mutinied, there would be cause to fire Bobby V.
   61. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4208388)
If Olney is correct, it is mind-boggling that Valentine is still there.


I agree with SugarBear here. Ownership, even if they wanted to fire Valentine, probably couldn't do it now without looking like the inmates are in control.
   62. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4208389)
At 119 and 98 OPS+s, respectively, Gonzalez and Pedroia have no standing to ##### about the manager five months into his tenure. The right message is: "Play better. You aren't doing your job well enough to spend time worrying about how other people are doing there's. Maybe if you paid more attention to your job and didn't waste time and energy on others', you'd actually be producing."

Gonzalez and Pedroia's OPS over the past 28 days: 1.090 and .825, respectively.
   63. DA Baracus Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4208390)
If Valentine is fired is Lucchino going to go over Cherington's head again with the next manager? If so there's your problem. The whole place is a mess.
   64. Textbook Editor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4208394)
Wow. 17 players. We're gonna need a whole lotta popcorn for the show that's coming up.
   65. Koot Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4208395)
The tenor of the 2 p.m. meeting at The Palace hotel in New York turned ugly almost immediately, according to the sources, whom Yahoo! Sports granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about internal matters.


Toxic clubhouse? The whole organization is toxic. All the ridiculous leaks to the media, the front office buffoonery with hiring Valentine and not backing him up, players whining, the ridiculous Bard experiment, the fake sell-out streak... just everything about this team is awful. I'd feel better about being a Red Sox fan if they were just a 100-loss team with players who are just really lousy players and no front office drama.
   66. Bob Tufts Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4208399)
I have to say that I am with Sugar Bear Blanks on this one - the players didn't get the job done in September 2011, and a manager took the fall for their faliure. You turn around and fire another manager because the team is underperforming?

If management is forced to fire Valentine for fan support reasons, I'd also unload some of the whiny players at the same time.

   67. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4208401)
If management is forced to fire Valentine for fan support reasons, I'd also unload some of the whiny players at the same time.


Supposedly they got started with Youk. But along with Valentine they need to chuck the ringleaders of the whinefest bandwagon. Maybe this means Pedroia.
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4208402)
Valentine is a clown, was a silly hire, and has run a clown show. Though I don't believe that a clown show affects wins and losses. Except when the clown is responsible for driving a player of the caliber of Kevin Youkilis out of town for nothing in return (if that's what happened, but there certainly was no baseball reason for the trade).

That said, if a mutiny is occurring, Cherington should just tell them all to STFU - or not - and go out and play.

Which leads me to the other obervation: even setting the Valentine issue aside, Cherington has not done a very good job.

   69. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4208403)
Gonzalez and Pedroia's OPS over the past 28 days: 1.090 and .825, respectively.


Which just goes to show how horrific they were before, and how much they contributed to the hole this team is in.

If Bobby isn't preparing well, and isn't making good managerial decisions, I think you cut him loose.

But you don't do it because he doesn't "spend enough time in the clubhouse with the boys" stroking egos.
   70. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4208404)
Aired their dissatisfaction with Valentine for embarrassing starting pitcher Jon Lester by leaving him in to allow 11 runs during a July 22 start
Aw, boo hoo.
   71. Textbook Editor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4208410)
Re #70-- my thought during that game was he should have been left in longer to take a worse beating. Same with Beckett. Stubborn pitchers who go rogue (like Beckett IMO ) should get left in to give up 12 runs every now and then.

Get rid of Beckett. Make that the shake up.
   72. Guapo Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4208412)
We should mindlessly speculate who the 8 players that didn't go to the meeting were.

I bet Vicente Padilla was one. And Scott Podsednik.
   73. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4208414)
For the "big names" that reportedly didn't attend the meeting - per Passan on WEEI - I'd guess Jacoby Ellsbury's the #1 most likely there.
   74. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4208417)
Honestly, I think the moment when Valentine lost the clubhouse was when Pedroia defended Youkilis with his, "That's not the way we do things here," and instead of coming back with, "And how did that work out for you guys last year?" Valentine backed down. From that moment, for good or ill, Pedroia has been well aware that he can say or do whatever he wants, blast Valentine however he wants, and there aren't going to be any consequences.
   75. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4208426)
The players' complaints don't seem to have much relationship to the Red Sox won-loss record. Would they have won more games if Lester had been pulled after giving up 6 runs instead of 11?
   76. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4208427)
Would it be crazy to bring Jason Varitek


Normally I would be against this kind of thing, but in this situation, I feel like the following are true:

(1) Bringing back Francona, as much as I think that would be correcting a mistake that never should have been made, would be crazy.

(2) Valentine, whatever may be true about the players' culpability, is clearly the wrong guy in the wrong place.

(3) There's nothing to lose.

Tek is a smart guy with a link to the team's glory days, and if anybody could rein in the vets it would probably be him. If he's willing, tag him with "interim" until the offseason, and reevaluate then.

I suspect that the team needs for Cherington to do what Cashman did a few years back and try to reclaim the decision-making from ownership. Unfortunately he doesn't have the standing to do that in quite the same way that Cashman did or Theo would, but you can't let Lucchino keep ####### up the team.
   77. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4208429)
Cherington has not done a very good job.


This is one of those times where I ask "how much is the GM and how much is the owner?"
   78. Textbook Editor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4208432)
What might Pedroia bring in a trade, I wonder... With the attrition rate of 2B it's possible all that might be left is a decline phase. If it enabled us to get King Felix would you do it?
   79. Tripon Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4208434)
If your gm doesn't have e power he needs to manage, then he should go.
   80. Bob Tufts Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4208436)
As for Ellsbury, he is not liked by management and the players due to his disappearance for treatment away from the team in 2010. If you throw Bobby V away, trade Ellsbury!

As for Youkilis, he looks like a "gamer" due to his Paul O'Neill act, but he isn't. If he doesn't play, he is an impossible phony "gamer"- kind of like the illustrious Kevin Millar and his "cowboy up" act. Once Millar's playing time was cut, it became all about him and not the team unity mantra.

As for punishing a starting pitcher, I saw Frank Robinson do it to Ed Whitson in a game in Atlanta in 1981. Whitson kept shaking off the signs and giving up hits, walks and runs. I warmed up repeatedly to come into the game, but Robinson let him rot, sending a strong message that if you want to call your own pitches, you can suffer the consequences of it and of thwarting the chain of command - 6 2/3, 11 hits, 6 walks and 8 runs - 5 ER's. Mike Rowland finally relieved to get the final out of the 7th and I threw the 8th inning.

Whitson was an a##hat. In 1980, he got involved in a fight with Max Venable on an airplane. Whitson was sitting in front of Terry Whitfield and Max, and Whitfield had on headphones but was singing off-key, which ticked off Ed. Whitson told him to be quiet, but Whitfield didn't hear it. Whitson then turned around and screamed at Whitfield who said "what's your problem, man?" At that point, Whitson then dropped the N-word on Whitfield.

Venable immediately reached over the seat and tried to take Ed's head off like a screw-top jar. The stewardess ran up to manager Dave Bristol and told him that some of the players were fighting. His response was supposedly "Ma'am, this is your airplane and your job."


   81. Koot Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4208440)
Then there are the oddities, like Valentine devising a plan to never play outfielder Carl Crawford more than four days in a row because of an elbow that may need surgery, only to abandon the idea less than a week later.


This is how I know part of this is that the media loves to pile on Bobby V. How is this one on Bobby V? Crawford wants to play. Management can't make him have surgery. Even if Bobby was the one to make the 4 on/1 off schedule, Crawford wanted no part of it.
   82. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4208444)
For the record. I love you, Bob Tufts.

[Edit] - The lead in was pure gold.
   83. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4208445)
That would explain Ed Whitson's bad karma.

   84. Bob Tufts Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4208450)
The Red Sox pitchers need to step up - the offense is relatively OK.

Whitson and Whitfield were not the smartest guys in the world. During that trip to Atlanta, some of Ed's friends from his high school in Erwin, Tennessee showed up at the ballpark. They lacked the niceness of the "Family Guy" depiction and truly looked like extras from "Deliverance". Whitson saw them during batting practice and ran over, telling them that "I done reservated y'all a room at our hotel".

Whitfield was not too fluent in English, so I wonder how he survived playing in Japan. He once went to Tijuana during a San Diego series and met a woman who wanted tickets to that night's game. Terry had some problems with grammar - he once asked someone how to spell "five"..."I know it begins f-i..". The young woman's name was Miranda and he was having problems spelling it in his mind. A player told him to ask Randy Moffitt, as he had a daughter with the same name. Randy spelled it for him and Terry thanked him saying "Hey, I didn't know your daughter was Mexican".
   85. Textbook Editor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4208451)
"Hey, I didn't know your daughter was Mexican".


That there's some comedy gold.
   86. Toby Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4208455)
This has turned into the equivalent of one of those whodunits where all of the guests are trapped in the mansion for the night and someone is murdered.

Was it Bobby V? Lucchino? Cherington? McClure? The medical staff? The chicken-eating pitchers? The whining, texting right side of the infield? The departed Youk?

I mean, ####, there were fewer suspects when Caesar was assassinated.

The obvious solution is that the Commissioner should once again orchestrate a merry-go-round of franchises with John Henry and Jeffrey Loria, preferably this time with the former Expos franchise rotating to Boston.
   87. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4208456)
If it enabled us to get King Felix would you do it?


Why on earth would the Mariners do that?

If they were even open to trading Felix, which they shouldn't be, the whole point would be to get a boatload of young, cheap talent. Pedroia's 29, not particularly cheap, and in the middle of his worst offensive season as a regular to boot.
   88. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4208459)
Bob...for the love of God...DON'T STOP NOW!!!
   89. Bob Tufts Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4208465)
The flashbacks are truly kicking in.....

We had a player in Phoneix whose married life was not the best. His wife had constant yeast infections and he went looking for action elsewhere, even while at home. It eventually caught up with him.

One game, he hit a double, and his wife jumped up to applaud. A woman next to her also did so, but the wife thought nothing of it - she thought it was just a fan, I guess. The next at bat he got another hit and they both jumped up at the same time to applaud with equal verve.

The wife was now curious and asked the young woman, "Do you know that player?"
The answer from the young woman was "Yes, he's my boyfriend, Do you know him?"
"Yes, he's my husband."
   90. Dan Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4208475)
The Red Sox pitchers need to step up - the offense is relatively OK.


This isn't as true as it looks on the surface: the Red Sox are third in the AL (and MLB) in runs scored, but they're only 22nd in road runs and 7th overall in MLB in wRC+. The run total is almost entirely a mirage of Fenway Park. And on top of that, despite the runs scored totals for home, the team's record is worse at Fenway than it is on the road.
   91. DA Baracus Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4208483)
Bob Tufts for President.

"Hey, I didn't know your daughter was Mexican".


I am using this.
   92. zonk Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4208486)
Bill James once said that the only non-negotiable part of a manager's job is the ability to command the respect of his players.


That's wrong. Some people aren't emotionally intelligent or mature enough to respect that which should be respected. If that happens to be a team's best players, the team's going to have trouble.


I think I concur -- I'd present exhibit A as Earl Weaver.

He didn't get along with Jim Palmer at all. I think Rick Dempsey had a pretty frosty relationship with him. I think Earl's had a lot of players snipe at him over his career and then after.

I suppose that doesn't necessarily rule out a lot of the old-time O's "respecting" Weaver, even if they didn't like him, tended to tease him/snipe at him, etc.
   93. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4208487)
If the Dodgers are willing to take on the money (and I think they would be), Adrian would be worth making a run at.
   94. zonk Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4208490)
Now caught up, thread bookmarked for as long as Bob wants to keep sharing... these are great - I especially like any story that makes any member of the '84 Padres not named Tony Gwynn look like an ass.... ok, and maybe Craig Nettles on my pleasant days.
   95. villageidiom Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4208494)
2) I don't think the Red Sox should sell everything that isn't nailed down. I think they should err on the side of making moves, and make sure to trade enough established players that the clubhouse gets that things are changing.
Adrian Gonzalez 2012 splits by various milestones:

April through Youkilis trade: .263/.319/.406
Trade through owners meeting: .366/.373/.505*
Owners meeting through 8/13 : .422/.479/.750

Dustin Pedroia:

April through Youkilis trade: .268/.327/.398
Trade through owners meeting: .266/.309/.406
Owners meeting through 8/13 : .333/.394/.492

Jon Lester:

Prior to 7/22 outing : .282/.332/.448 against
After the 7/22 outing: .213/.255/.330 against

It might be the case that the right moves are being made.


* Further split:
Trade through the 7/22 outing: .400/.400/.556
After 7/22 to owners meeting : .091/.167/.091

...Potentially unfair, as the last split consists just of 3 games, all in Texas. But now that we have a sense of Gonzalez's feelings after the 7/22 outing and prior to the meeting with owners, it might reflect something more than the competition faced.
   96. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4208496)
I suppose that doesn't necessarily rule out a lot of the old-time O's "respecting" Weaver


Not all managers are created equal.

I would suggest that guys on those 70s teams knew that Weaver was very smart, and more importantly, knew that he had the gig as long as he wanted it, due to his track record. That in and of itself creates the necessary respect for him to do the job, even if they didn't like Weaver. That ain't Bobby Valentine in Boston.

There are stories about the 1974 O's disregarding Weaver and bunting etc against his orders. But I have also read that Weaver was upfront with players and didn't BS them, which is a huge factor in management in any field.
   97. tjm1 Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4208498)
#98 has it right: the players certainly don't have to like the manager. They don't have to respect him as a human being. But they do have to respect his authority in running the ballclub. That doesn't necessarily mean that they never question his decisions, but they they can't do it in a way that undermines him - basically, they can't question everything he does, and they can't repeatedly question the same type of decision.
   98. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4208500)
If you trade for Pedroia, you'll get something more like the .287/.357.422/.779 road version than the .317/.380/.492/.873 Fenway version.

He's got a .668 OPS at Safeco, which doesn't seem worth a star pitcher at all.
   99. Spivey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4208503)
Trade Beckett for pennies on the dollar. I think they need to consider trading Pedroia and Lester too, but they're on such good contracts. I don't think anybody's untouchable, although I find it very hard to believe Gonzalez is a cancer.
   100. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4208505)
the sox have outscored the opposition. looks like fenway is playing really well for offense so some of the pitching struggles are home related. certainly lester has gotten killed at fenway. his ops surrendered is .270 higher at fenway

anyway, it's possible that bobby quits. sure bobby has a big ego but does he want another season potentially full of scorn and ridicule if management doesn't alter the roster?

and where's david ortiz in all this?
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