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   1. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4225060)
Speier's take. As usual, a very thorough job and he makes a good case for letting Bobby go right away.
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4225064)
bosox fans have to hope the team is working carefully on plan b versus throwing meat to the masses by jettisoning plan a and then wondering what to do next.

who do they know is out there, is going to say 'yes' and will bring at least some of the attributes desired?

it's the second question i am interested in knowing the answer(s). because if i am a guy that gets called i am going to ponder a lot about going to that nuthouse.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4225068)
Brad Mills seems the most likely. He was well-respected as a bench coach, and he left right before the club stopped winning. He has a connection to the team and many of the players, but is easily separable from the clowntown era. While Mills' tenure in Houston was not impressive, it's hard to say whether or how much blame he deserves.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4225069)
Ok, is this for real?
[Werner:] “We just have to be more disciplined. One of the things we’ve talked to Ben about is supplementing his staff with a few more evaluators. I’m confident that we’ll get back because now we have the resources and the talent with Ben, and under Ben, to do so.”
The Red Sox have been understaffed in baseball ops? Folks you can pay $50k to kill themselves for the ballclub, or consultants you can pay even less, and the Sox haven't had enough of them? That is just a hilarious indictment of onwership. And it may offer some insight into why the club's baseball decisions were so poor this offseason.

(I'm assuming that the Sox failed to re-stock baseball ops post Theo, but could it be instead that the Sox downsized baseball ops earlier? I know they let a lot of their consultants go in 2009 or so, after the crash.)
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4225075)
Also, that Speier essay is really excellent. Everyone should read it.
   6. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4225076)
I certainly won't be sad to see the back of him. I don't think Bobby V. is necessarily a terrible manager and I can imagine that there might be some situations where his schtick might work, but he always seemed like a very poor fit for this team with its rabid media and fanbase. The case for hiring him always seemed to rest on the premise that the team had become complacent under Francona and needed to be shaken up/punished by giving the reins to a guy they would dislike, on the theory that this would somehow translate to them playing harder. It seems to me that the problem -- entirely predictable, IMHO -- is that they disliked him but didn't respect him.
   7. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4225078)
Maybe that's a way of saying they want to get some different voices in the mix (rather than just increase the number)?
   8. bobm Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4225080)
[1] Great stuff there:

It’s come to the point where it is fair to question his ongoing emotional investment in the team.

On Friday, for instance, he showed up at the ballpark less than three hours before the first pitch -- hours after a manager typically makes his way to the ballpark in order to guarantee his preparedness and ensure his availability to his players and coaches. On Saturday, he was asked about a Red Sox lineup that featured Scott Podsednik penciled into the third spot in the order for the first time in the veteran’s big league career.

"Just a mistake," Valentine said in response to his deployment of Podsednik. "Is that what it says on the lineup? What the (expletive)? Switch it up. Who knows? Maybe it will look good. I haven’t seen it."

And again on Saturday, when Valentine was asked about the fact that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia challenged baseball etiquette by breaking up a no-hitter in the fifth inning (of a 5-0 game) with a bunt single, Valentine’s response was not defense but rather dismissal.

“Who cares?” he told reporters.
   9. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4225083)
Am I remember incorrectly or did Valentine say something that implied that Francona wasn't doing a good job or that he could do better?
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4225085)
the red sox reaction is almost exactly what the brewers of the early 80's did to buck rodgers. milwaukee caught a break with the strike in that it kept the malcontents away from the manager and vice-versa. the malcontents being gorman thomas and mike caldwell with some help from ted simmons, pete vukovich and cecil cooper. thomas had been moved out of centerfield (rightfully so) and the other four were told to get in better shape with particular attention paid to caldwell who from his fine 1978 season had looked more and more flabby. it all went to h8ll in early 1982 as the griping in the clubhouse was regular and harry dalton fired a guy he thought was good at managing versus firing some of the players.

buck rodgers was not a smart aleck know it all like bobby but he did say what was on his mind and he was not delicate in his assessments. thomas was too slow for centerfield, caldwell was fat and the other three were trending in that direction.

the brewers found a stopgap who let the guys play and it worked for a season and a half before it all went to pot and the team got old overnight though who knows how much of that was guys not taking care of themselves.

just a cautionary tale
   11. Swedish Chef Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4225087)
it all went to h8ll in early 1982 as the griping in the clubhouse was regular and harry dalton fired a guy he thought was good at managing versus firing some of the players.

The difference is that Brewers had a guy that they thought were good at managing, Red Sox has one who writes in Scott Podsednik in the third spot by mistake.
   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4225093)
Depending on what route the Sox take over the winter I wonder if Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler might get/be deserving of some consideration. He seems to have been well regarded both inside and outside the organization (Baseball America named him manager of the year a couple of years ago). Mills is the guy that off the top of my head makes the most sense but if the Sox go for a rebuild rather than a reload Beyeler might be a good choice.

Obviously I'm delighted to think that Valentine is headed out the door but I'm not sure what I think of Cherington. I feel that he deserves some time to find his way but at the same time I have been underwhelmed by his performance so far.

EDIT: Sorry, Beyeler was "Best Manager Prospect" in the Eastern League a couple of years ago.
   13. PJ Martinez Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4225094)
And again on Saturday, when Valentine was asked about the fact that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia challenged baseball etiquette by breaking up a no-hitter in the fifth inning (of a 5-0 game) with a bunt single, Valentine’s response was not defense but rather dismissal.

“Who cares?” he told reporters.

The other comments don't reflect well on him but this is the right answer. There is nothing wrong with bunting for a hit in a 5-0 game in the fifth (!) inning when a pitcher has a no-hitter going. 8th or 9th inning, we can discuss it (though I tend to think if you want to pitch a no-hitter, then don't give up any hits -- hitters should do what they want to get on base). But fifth inning? Give me a break.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4225105)
it all went to h8ll in early 1982 as the griping in the clubhouse was regular and harry dalton fired a guy he thought was good at managing versus firing some of the players.

buck rodgers was not a smart aleck know it all like bobby but he did say what was on his mind and he was not delicate in his assessments. thomas was too slow for centerfield, caldwell was fat and the other three were trending in that direction.
One important difference here is that the Red Sox have "fired" four of their core players this summer. The response of the front office has not been to empower the whining players against management. It seems to me that this is not a case where either the manager or the players are the problem, it's a case where both the managers and the players are the problem. The Sox should replace a bunch of the players and replace the manager.

(Of course, the last two offseasons don't give me a ton of optimism about this front office making the right moves to replace the players and replace the manager, but I think it's better to try to replace them than to hope the problems of 2011-2012 just resolve themselves.)
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4225107)
It’s come to the point where it is fair to question his ongoing emotional investment in the team.

On Friday, for instance, he showed up at the ballpark less than three hours before the first pitch -- hours after a manager typically makes his way to the ballpark in order to guarantee his preparedness and ensure his availability to his players and coaches. On Saturday, he was asked about a Red Sox lineup that featured Scott Podsednik penciled into the third spot in the order for the first time in the veteran’s big league career.

"Just a mistake," Valentine said in response to his deployment of Podsednik. "Is that what it says on the lineup? What the (expletive)? Switch it up. Who knows? Maybe it will look good. I haven’t seen it."
This is the killer stuff that really makes me want Bobby V gone. I thought we were getting a professional crazy baseball person, the sort of guy who can't sleep because he's planning what to do if the Royals use their third lefty in the seventh inning of a two-run game. He might rub some folks in the clubhouse the wrong way, but it'll all be in pursuit of winning. Instead, Valentine really doesn't seem to doing the requisite work at all. Earlier this season, he showed up for the game with the wrong platoon lineup because he'd misread the opposing pitcher's handedness when he looked it up on his phone that morning. The Red Sox provide (at least, they did provide to Tito) elaborately detailed stat and scouting reports on the club's opponents before each series, and he was looking it up on his phone?

The story about Pedroia tweeting a picture of Valentine napping in the clubhouse several hours before game time, I think, should be understood in this context.
   16. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4225109)
Yeah, agree with 13. "Who cares?" in that context, could convey that he's more interested in winning than in conventions. Also, remember, for Salty to be able to get a bunt hit, the defense has to be giving him a huge opening. It's sort of taking advantage of the tradition.
   17. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4225110)
I don't see the Red Sox "getting old overnight". Except Papi, they're a young team. Pedroia is the veteran, and he's 30 next August.
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4225113)
the problems of 2011-2012


It's a bit irrelevant now but I think "the problems of 2011" have pretty clearly been either overstated or misidentified. The Sox won 90 games and basically fell apart because they spent six weeks asking their 8th, 9th and 10th starters trying to win games. I will forever believe that the 2012 team would have contended with some subtle adjustments. Instead they made what I think was a catastrophic and long-term change to management that is going to linger for many years to come.

More relevantly, the Sox need to clean up this self-made mess. Valentine and the entire coaching staff need to go. I know Magadan seems to be getting some good press but I see a club that has had a massive decline in walks and seriously question what approach he is taking. They also desperately need a superstar to put in the middle of all this. The pitching staff, as bad as it has been, I think is actually pretty close to being championship caliber. I'm confident that Lester/Buchholz can be a 1-2 of a contender and Doubront is a perfectly reasonable 4/5 type. The Sox need some stability in the middle of it all (Edwin Jackson?) and then some depth (likely to be some combo of Lackey, Morales).
   19. Dale Sams Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4225114)
I don't see the Red Sox "getting old overnight


That's later when they sign Swisher, Hunter or Pena.
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4225115)
bosox fans

i agree there are differences in the two situations.

while i do agree that bobby has his personality flaws i also believe he has the ability to be a good manager. i would be sitting down with bobby at the next homestand and ask him what his vision is for next season and how will he execute on that vision? i would then meet with him immediately at the end of the season and hear the answers. if i didn't like what i heard then i might consider a change. but i would not be deadset on making a change though i would have people doing the research to be ready if a change was needed.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4225116)
it's easy to fire people. it's not easy to find the right people.
   22. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4225119)
Maybe they've already talked to him about this vision? Or maybe they like the vision but just don't think he's a guy who can do it?

You can have the best ideas in the world but if you're showing up late and/or not keeping up with some of the very basic information that's important to your job and/or not getting the best out of your employees, you're not going to keep your job.
   23. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4225123)
I think Valentine's responses were that of a man who knows he's gone at the end of the season and is just playing out the string.
   24. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4225124)
darren

i hear that and agree

   25. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4225125)
We can pretend all we want that we know what type of manager will best motivate a team to play to or above its potential, but we don't. I don't recall any Red Sox fans here or elsewhere celebrating the hiring of Francona, it was more of a mixed reaction to the firing of Little.
   26. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4225127)
4 - Interesting, Mikael. Almost feels like I'm reading a karlmagnus post, but the gap between the two has narrowed a bit this year.
   27. Dale Sams Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4225128)
You all ready to revisit 'momentum' and 'chemistry'? Momentum at least. Surely people are finally questioning the idea that each game is a reboot back to near coin flip. Or even 35%? Losing Papi and then AGon is big..but big enough to turn a .500 team into a .300 team? And what do Papi and Agon have to do with the pitching staff?

No, the simple answer is the players are out there saying, \"#### this game, #### my life."

   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4225129)
joe

i think it's pretty well established that in this era managers who are emotionally distant and/or abrasive just don't work with today's players.

one could contend that doesn't work anywhere but you see those approaches work in operations and finance
   29. booond Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4225135)
one could contend that doesn't work anywhere but you see those approaches work in operations and finance


Good managers can work anywhere as long they gain the respect of their staff. They don't have to kiss ass they have to push their unit in the correct direction. The staff will follow them once they see that the manager knows what they're doing and that they have success. They also have to have the backing of management. If they don't it turns into "Lord of the Flies."

it's easy to fire people. it's not easy to find the right people.


This is correct. I'd be very concerned with a quick decision that ends up with a puppet in charge.
   30. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4225136)
I don't see Valentine as abrasive or distant. I see him as a "rah rah" guy, and a self promoter, and they probably don't like him for that. But you can't quit on him.
   31. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4225139)
I always saw him as a "rah rah" guy too, but this year he's been more like a "blah blah" guy. He really doesn't seem that into it.
   32. booond Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4225143)
To be honest, Valentine should have never accepted this job. It was a disaster waiting to happen. The fried chicken crew was still there, he replaced the guy everyone liked and he wasn't given full reign. The only thing that didn't happen was Pedroia didn't go to the media and say he wanted Valentine to be a one season manager. His ego, which could fill Brockton, wouldn't let him say no.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4225148)
To be honest, Valentine should have never accepted this job. It was a disaster waiting to happen. The fried chicken crew was still there, he replaced the guy everyone liked and he wasn't given full reign. The only thing that didn't happen was Pedroia didn't go to the media and say he wanted Valentine to be a one season manager. His ego, which could fill Brockton, wouldn't let him say no.

It was probably a last chance for Valentine. Nobody was offering him managing gigs (9 seasons since he managed the Mets), and he can always go back to broadcasting.

If he never thought he'd get another chance, this was a no lose situation. There was enough talent that they might have made the playoffs, and then he's a hero. If he's fired, he goes back to TV. No real loss.
   34. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4225150)
Not abrasive, but glib and also pretty damn snide on occasion, calling McClure's time with family a vacation, Alfredo being Alfredo/dusting being a ballplayer, which makes it easier to misread (if it was a misreading) his comment to whoever the infielder who booted a couple of plays was.

Maybe he'd figured he already lost the team and could save the batteries on his filter. Maybe he'd been at ESPN too long.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4225155)
It was probably a last chance for Valentine. Nobody was offering him managing gigs (9 seasons since he managed the Mets), and he can always go back to broadcasting.

If he never thought he'd get another chance, this was a no lose situation. There was enough talent that they might have made the playoffs, and then he's a hero. If he's fired, he goes back to TV. No real loss.
I get this, but it makes it even odder the way he never really put in the effort. I kind of wonder if Valentine realized in April he just didn't have the energy or interest he used to, and said, #### it, this is hard, I can always go back to broadcasting if they don't pull themselves out of their tailspin.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4225157)
I get this, but it makes it even odder the way he never really put in the effort. I kind of wonder if Valentine realized in April he just didn't have the energy or interest he used to, and said, #### it, this is hard, I can always go back to broadcasting if they don't pull themselves out of their tailspin.

Maybe he thought he could reach the team, and when it became obvious in ST/April that he couldn't, he just lost interest/energy.
   37. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4225163)
I think he had a plan to whip them into shape in ST by yelling at an empty chair he insisted was Terry Francona. When that didn't work, he gave up.
   38. booond Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4225183)
I kind of wonder if Valentine realized in April he just didn't have the energy or interest he used to, and said, #### it, this is hard, I can always go back to broadcasting if they don't pull themselves out of their tailspin.


I have no idea his thought process but it's as likely that he realized it was a lost cause early when management didn't give him the keys and the players hated him for not being Tito.
   39. karlmagnus Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4225197)
I think the answer is Ryne Sandberg, as I said in the Sandberg thread. No past connection with a club, but a HOF player who they have to respect, with a quiet personality, more Tito than Valentine. Been a AAA manager for several years, so has the experience and time to move up.
   40. veer bender Posted: September 02, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4225247)
The Red Sox have been understaffed in baseball ops? Folks you can pay $50k to kill themselves for the ballclub, or consultants you can pay even less, and the Sox haven't had enough of them?


Eric Van posted something a while back on SOSH that was somewhere between insinuating and directly stating this. Apparently he was one of the many lowly paid consultants let go to save money, and he was making the case that it was penny-wise-pound-foolish thinking from ownership. It was actually a really interesting post - I wish I remember what the thread was titled, but will add that if I think of it.
   41. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4225300)
FWIW, that hardly seems like an unbiased POV.
   42. The District Attorney Posted: September 02, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4225304)
Eric Van posted something a while back on SOSH that was somewhere between insinuating and directly stating this. Apparently he was one of the many lowly paid consultants let go to save money, and he was making the case that it was penny-wise-pound-foolish thinking from
ownership.
I'm sure there was a two-week-long split with five different conditions that justified it.
   43. DKDC Posted: September 02, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4225309)
It was probably a last chance for Valentine. Nobody was offering him managing gigs (9 seasons since he managed the Mets), and he can always go back to broadcasting.


I think that's fair, especially after what happened in the summer of 2010.

He interviewed for the Orioles managerial opening, but then withdrew from consideration so he could focus on the Marlins job.

Then the Marlins decided not to interview him at all, and the Orioles hired Showalter.
   44. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4225348)
Eric Van posted something a while back on SOSH that was somewhere between insinuating and directly stating this. Apparently he was one of the many lowly paid consultants let go to save money, and he was making the case that it was penny-wise-pound-foolish thinking from ownership. It was actually a really interesting post - I wish I remember what the thread was titled, but will add that if I think of it.

FWIW, that hardly seems like an unbiased POV.
Yeah, I mostly dismissed it as EV being EV. But when I saw that line from Werner, I immediately thought of that post. Van's precise claim was that sometime in 2009 or so, after the crash, the Red Sox let most of their consulting staff go as a cost-cutting measure. I figured there could be any number of reasons for this, or any number of ways that EV might be spinning his being let go, but now we have Werner saying that the Sox were in fact understaffed in baseball ops. Now I'm starting to think that the best way of reading EV's post is as honest evidence of exactly the kind of penny-foolish management that he claimed.
   45. Darren Posted: September 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4225350)
Wouldn't it be pound foolish?
   46. Textbook Editor Posted: September 02, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4225363)
The sell-off and the recent quiet Liverpool transfer period have me half-believing the conspiracy theories bandied about that Henry's running short on cash, etc. There's still 51%+ of me that thinks it's all nonsense, but it is an interesting turn of events, to be sure.

If Bobby V is back, I'm going to guess the fan base really, truly checks out and apathy runs at an all-time high in 2013. I cannot imagine a set of circumstances where he comes back.

That said... it makes all the trading of the so-called "anti-Bobby V" players seem all the more curious. Don't get me wrong: even if Francona and Theo were still here, I would have advocated the Dodger trade in a heartbeat for what it got us down the road. The Youkilis trade still puzzles, especially because they got so little when a team like the Phillies might have given us a way, way better package to pick up a 3B with power they desperately needed (and by better I don't mean anything more than a flier in low-A, but still someone you can dream on more than the return they got from the White Sox).

I don't dislike Bobby V. I probably even advocated for his hiring at the time, as a "do the opposite of what you were doing" approach. But clearly it has not worked. My fear now is the team won't spend the $ to fire him and are instead trying to get him to resign in an attempt to get out from under the cost of the 2nd year of the contract.
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: September 02, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4225364)

"I think Valentine's responses were that of a man who knows he's gone at the end of the season and is just playing out the string."

I dealt with him personally but only occasionally more than a decade ago, so large grains of salt.
But yeah, that strikes me as typical of his demeanor. And he's offbeat enough that you can see why people would either like or dislike his "candor."

   48. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4225372)
Yeah, I mostly dismissed it as EV being EV. But when I saw that line from Werner, I immediately thought of that post. Van's precise claim was that sometime in 2009 or so, after the crash, the Red Sox let most of their consulting staff go as a cost-cutting measure. I figured there could be any number of reasons for this, or any number of ways that EV might be spinning his being let go, but now we have Werner saying that the Sox were in fact understaffed in baseball ops. ...

Werner didn't say the Red Sox are understaffed; he said the Red Sox want to "supplement" their current staff. He said the Sox want more "evaluators," which is a different need than what was provided by the guys like Eric Van who (apparently) were let go.

Regardless, the Sox' most glaring mistake last offseason appears to have been at manager, and guys like Van almost assuredly wouldn't have been consulted on that decision even if they had still been there.
   49. rr Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4225376)
Question for HW:

Does Valentine in Boston remind you of Dressen in Milwaukee back in the early 60s at all? Some of the stuff I am seeing from BOS fans here tracks with stuff that I have read about Dressen.
   50. bobm Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4225378)
So, how soon is Valentine gone?


Cherington in Seattle: 'Nothing going on'
September, 3, 2012
By ESPNBoston.com

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is in Seattle, where his slumping team continues its winless road trip, but he said that was the plan all along and does not mean manager Bobby Valentine won't be making the return trek to Boston as the Sox skipper.

"I'm in Seattle and had planned to be," Cherington told ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes. "There's nothing going on but a bad losing streak."

The Boston Herald reported that John Henry, the team's principal owner, also is in Seattle.

Red Sox upper management stated unequivocally in mid-August that Valentine would not be fired before the end of the season, but the Sox have won just five of their last 19 games and have dropped six straight out west, including a three-game weekend sweep at the hands of the A's in which they were outscored 33-5.


http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/22518/cherington-in-seattle-nothing-going-on
   51. Dale Sams Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:02 AM (#4225391)
http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/22518/cherington-in-seattle-nothing-going-on


The Red Sox Season.
   52. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 03, 2012 at 05:21 AM (#4225402)
Just a dumb signing really - I wanted him gone in April and was laughed at - it was clear he had no idea. He made that obvious with his schtick on ESPN last year.

I can't wait till it is all over and he pisses off.

Anyway, hope you are all well.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 03, 2012 at 07:10 AM (#4225412)
Werner didn't say the Red Sox are understaffed; he said the Red Sox want to "supplement" their current staff.
That's just spin, though. Tom Werner's not going to say, "because of short-term budgeting mistakes, we understaffed baseball ops." The only way he would address an understaffing problem publicly is by talking about "supplementing" baseball ops. The fact that he brought it up out of the blue as a change the Red Sox want to implement suggests to me that he feels baseball ops in understaffed.
He said the Sox want more "evaluators," which is a different need than what was provided by the guys like Eric Van who (apparently) were let go.
This is definitely true. To be clear, I wasn't thinking that Tom Werner was saying, "come back to us Eric Van, you're our only hope". Rather, I was thinking that if the Red Sox downsized baseball ops as EV says, they may have downsized not just the consultants, but also other evaluators.
   54. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 03, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4225413)
robin

i have been making the bobby/charlie comparison for a decade and a month ago in another thread talked about the youk trade relative to dressen pushing to trade bruton for bolling

so yes

the only brave who liked dressen was joe adcock who was also a bit of a jack8ss
   55. Lassus Posted: September 03, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4225422)
As a Mets fan I'm not a Valentine fanboy that much, he was horrible to listen to in interviews and in the booth.

However.

That being said, from the outside, he honestly looks like a convenient (VERY convenient) scapegoat. Between the injuries, the FO, and string of jackasses in the clubhouse, I can't quite imagine any other manager making much of a difference this year. It is good to get rid of him now, I agree; but in the alternate universe, in all alternate universes, the slaughtered lamb just has a different name.


If Bobby V is back, I'm going to guess the fan base really, truly checks out and apathy runs at an all-time high in 2013.

This assumes losing. If Bobby V is back and they win, no one checks out. (I agree with your next sentence, not likely he's back.)
   56. bunyon Posted: September 03, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4225424)
but in the alternate universe, in all alternate universes, the slaughtered lamb just has a different name.

I would guess the name in quite a few of those alternate universes was "Francona".
   57. PJ Martinez Posted: September 03, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4225427)
That being said, from the outside, he honestly looks like a convenient (VERY convenient) scapegoat.

I don't think anyone in Boston believes that if only the team had a different manager, they'd be headed to the playoffs. But he's done more than enough to get fired at this point. He is not a scapegoat.
   58. SoSH U at work Posted: September 03, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4225434)
I don't think anyone in Boston believes that if only the team had a different manager, they'd be headed to the playoffs. But he's done more than enough to get fired at this point. He is not a scapegoat.


The immaturity demonstrated by Valentine and all his coaches (not speaking to one another) is reason enough to ship all their asses out.

I hated the Valentine hire. I never thought he was as good as he thought he was, considered him a particularly bad fit for Boston and thought he was at an age when most manager start slipping anyway. But he did pay lip service to advanced metrics, so there's that.
   59. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4225436)
I agree with Lassus, except that I liked Bobby V with the Mets. I like him less with the Sox, but he's in no way among the top 5 problems this ballclub has.
   60. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 03, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4225455)
he's in no way among the top 5 problems this ballclub has.


I disagree with this. I think the fact that every single significant player on the team had a poor season is likely to be due to his management style. Whether it's childish whining by the players or Valentine and the Coaching staff's lack of communication and professionalism I'll leave to you but I think he is directly responsible for a lot of the failings.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4225463)
That's just spin, though. Tom Werner's not going to say, "because of short-term budgeting mistakes, we understaffed baseball ops." The only way he would address an understaffing problem publicly is by talking about "supplementing" baseball ops. The fact that he brought it up out of the blue as a change the Red Sox want to implement suggests to me that he feels baseball ops in understaffed.

The Red Sox mistakes have been huge, big-ticket decisions. These are not the kind of thing having 5 or 10 or 1000 bright young guys working for $30K is going to fix. If they were doing a shitty job late in the draft, or in evaluating minor leaguers, then, extra junior staff might help.

But the people involved in a Lackey or Crawford signing are the top 4 or 5 execs and the owners. The relevant stats and projections are freely available on the internet. The only "inside" info you could gather is medical evaluations, which is certainly an area the Sox need to improve. Junior baseball ops people just have no role.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4225464)
I think the fact that every single significant player on the team had a poor season is likely to be due to his management style.

Wow! Talk about letting highly paid professionals off the hook.

If you can't play b/c you don't like the manager, you don't belong in MLB.
   63. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4225467)
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is in Seattle, where his slumping team continues its winless road trip, but he said that was the plan all along


If you plan a winless road trip, you can be only pleasantly surprised.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4225469)
Wow! Talk about letting highly paid professionals off the hook.

If you can't play b/c you don't like the manager, you don't belong in MLB.


Do you believe managers play no role in how well the guys play under them (And Dag's research suggests otherwise). Persistent underperformance does not have to be an either/or thing. You can fault both management AND the players when everyone plays below capabilities.

   65. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4225475)
If you can't play b/c you don't like the manager, you don't belong in MLB.


That's easy to say but not so easy in practice. Obviously if they are just flat out tanking because they don't like Bobby, that's unacceptable and on the players. However, players need to be coached at every level, there is a reason someone like Dave Duncan can get great performances out of people that other coaches don't. There is a reason that Curtis Granderson seems to have responded to Kevin Long in a way he didn't to other coaches. Coaches DO make an impact.

Setting the tone and atmosphere for a clubhouse is important. Maybe Jon Lester would have spent more time looking at film and figured out why he was pitching like ass and maybe Dustin Pedroia or Adrian Gonzalez would have figured out what was up with his swing earlier in the season if they felt comfortable in the clubhouse. I'm not 100% certain of these things but when every single major contributor to this team falls off dramatically, I don't think it is unreasonable at all to look at what substantively changed (the manager) and suggest that there was a cause and effect.

The alternative is that a whole bunch of All Stars suddenly and randomly fell apart at the same time.

EDIT: What SoSH said more succinctly. Particularly the last sentence.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4225478)
Do you believe managers play no role in how well the guys play under them (And Dag's research suggests otherwise). Persistent underperformance does not have to be an either/or thing. You can fault both management AND the players when everyone plays below capabilities.

That's easy to say but not so easy in practice. Obviously if they are just flat out tanking because they don't like Bobby, that's unacceptable and on the players. However, players need to be coached at every level, there is a reason someone like Dave Duncan can get great performances out of people that other coaches don't. There is a reason that Curtis Granderson seems to have responded to Kevin Long in a way he didn't to other coaches. Coaches DO make an impact.


I believe they have some impact. There may be 1-3 guys they help, and 1-3 guys they hurt. Kevin Long didn't make ALL the Yankee hitters into MVP candidates.

But to say everyone underperformed b/c of Valentine is a huge leap. I think the "toxic clubhouse" is much more the players' fault than Valentine's.

Valentine surely deserves to be fired. But any lack of effort on the players' part should be 100% on them.
   67. booond Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4225481)
I think the fact that every single significant player on the team had a poor season is likely to be due to his management style.


Daddy's mean so I'm going to strikeout.

The players are the #1 reason the team tanked. They were the #1 reason the team collapsed in 2011. Valentine sits at #3, at best, behind poor management decisions for this year's poor season.

Should he be fired... probably.

Should they work harder at selecting the correct person - not a knee jerk hiring of Brad Mills - that too.

   68. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4225482)
Daddy's mean so I'm going to strikeout.


Apparently you know nothing about how stress works.
   69. SoSH U at work Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4225483)
But to say everyone underperformed b/c of Valentine is a huge leap. .


No one said that. But if everyone is underperforming, then it's just as much a leap to suggest that the manager (you know, the guy responsible for managing those underperformers) wasn't ineffective in his capacity.

Again, it's not either/or. But the only way Valentine doesn't absorb a significant role in the failures of the 2012 Red Sox is if you're one of those simpletons who think that managers have virtually no effect on a team's performance. And if that's the case, why would you even care whether Bobby V gets too much blame? He's irrelevant anyway.


   70. booond Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4225486)
Apparently you know nothing about how stress works.


Where does the stress come from? Does it come from expectations of the public? Does it come from the way the previous season ended? Does it come from inner expectations? Of course stress can also push people forward as well as back.

Do you have data which suggests the failure of the Red Sox is due to the stress applied by Valentine and his management style?
   71. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4225487)

Do you have data which suggests the failure of the Red Sox is due to the stress applied by Valentine and his management style?


2011 - Great players play great

2011 winter - Manager change

2012 - Great players play far less than great

That's overly simplistic of course but I think dismissing it as a possibility without any cause is similarly simplistic.
   72. wealz Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4225488)
Take this FWIW, I was talking with a White Sox front office guy last week and he said Scioscia was the clear favorite to replace Valentine barring an unforeseen playoff run by the Angels.
   73. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4225490)
Do you have data which suggests the failure of the Red Sox is due to the stress applied by Valentine and his management style?


I wrote my thesis on this sort of thing. It's not online, so I can't link it--but you can find tons of articles with a simple google search. Chronic stress causes decreased performance, higher susceptibility to injury, impaired judgment, and lower pain tolerance (among other things). I haven't yet found anything that relates directly to baseball--but do I need to? This is how the vast majority of people are affected. Maybe one could argue that the MLB environment exempts players from this sort of thing, but there's no evidence of that, either.

You'd need several studies done directly within MLB.
   74. Dale Sams Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4225493)
2012 - Great players play far less than great

That's overly simplistic of course but I think dismissing it as a possibility without any cause is similarly simplistic.


This also plays into my line about how "Ben inherited a mess" is just a bunch of felgercarb. Sure the team had holes, but what team doesn't. Now if a new GM came in 2013...THAT's a mess!
   75. Dale Sams Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4225495)
Sox should hire me.

I'll show up in the clubhouse wearing a tux and tell people "I fix things".
   76. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4225497)
Ben inherited some ugly contracts and a clubhouse mess, but also a lot of good players. Partial mess?
   77. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4225500)
Ben inherited some ugly contracts and a clubhouse mess, but also a lot of good players. Partial mess?


I think Ben inherited a pretty nice situation. I think the "clubhouse mess" that existed last year was vastly overblown and will believe that until the day I die. He got a team that won 90 games last year and was expected to do the same in 2012. He got Valentine foisted upon him in about the worst possible manner, I think had the Sox handled his hiring better that would have helped this mess but there aren't a lot of teams that looked that much better on Halloween, 2011 than the Sox did.

It wasn't a perfect situation of course and some #### just happened (injuries both pre and in season most notably) but I think the Sox from the top down allowed the perception to move reality.
   78. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4225501)
I was talking with a White Sox front office guy last week and he said Scioscia was the clear favorite to replace Valentine barring an unforeseen playoff run by the Angels.


This would be stunning on at least a couple of levels.

you can find tons of articles with a simple google search


I just did a simple google search, and the results aren't that impressive, at least in terms of scholarly articles. Nothing all that recent. I'm sure there's lots of other stuff that I could find with a more targeted and/or sophisticated search. And FWIW, the first article I clicked on looked at found no significant correlation between negative mood (the sort of stressor I'd expect to result from working for a putz) and performance. Also, they only saw correlations with performance for individual sports (tennis and gymnastics), not team (basketball). Of course, that was a study of female student-athletes, so maybe not all that relevant anyway.
   79. Dale Sams Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4225514)
I'm not sure Baseball can be compared to other sports because there's so much standing around.

I'm serious. I perform better at my job when there's just the right amount activity. Too little, and I'm dying...too much of course and I just start to shut down. all that standing around in baseball gives ample time to think "My life sucks."
   80. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4225517)
Did I post the following elsewhere, or even here? If yes, I apologize.

Once the reserve clause was beaten and the free market took over, the players took on added responsibility, IMO. Since they're basically partners with ownership, they can't just quit on their partners when they don't like their immediate boss. If Player X says he has trouble focusing on his job because Bobby V is a bad boss, then then Player X has no balls. When he's at the plate, or on the mound, or wherever, he has to do the job he's paid to do. Otherwise, he isn't a pro.
   81. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4225519)
Darren, their life sucks? Even if it does, their careers are short, they achieve financial security beyond the average person's wildest dream, so they should focus on that, how, after they remove themselves from this life that sucks, they can do just about whatever they want until they die. That's a pretty liberating feeling, I would bet. I would love to be in that position: work 10-15 years, retire young, and live. Wow. That sucks.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4225522)
2011 - Great players play great

2011 winter - Manager change

2012 - Great players play far less than great

That's overly simplistic of course but I think dismissing it as a possibility without any cause is similarly simplistic.


Except, you know, they stopped playing great with a month left in the 2011 season.
   83. Dale Sams Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4225526)
retire young, and live. Wow. That sucks.


I didn't say it was a realistic outlook.
   84. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4225529)
Oh, ok. And sorry I misread and answered Darren instead of you. Oops.
   85. Dale Sams Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4225531)
This team has been so bad, that I don't know why anyone would want to come here unless the offer is significantly more than what someone else is offering.
   86. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4225533)
And this team has been so good, in the not so recent past, that I can see why a pro would say #### it, Boston is a fun place to play when the team wins, and my ego allows me to believe I can help the team win.

I think they miss Ortiz in the lineup a lot more that they care to admit.
   87. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4225538)
Except, you know, they stopped playing great with a month left in the 2011 season.


But they didn't, at least not the hitters. Beckett was hurt and Lester was lousy but the majority of the key position players were quite good in September last year. It would be a mistake to focus on one month regardless of which way the results turned. The Sox won 90 games last year, brought back fundamentally the same team and are headed to 70 wins. Injuries played a part of course and the players are the ones performing (or not) but I think it is quite fair to acknowledge the one major change the club made on the field.


September, 2011;

Adrian Gonzalez - .318/.455/.523
Dustin Pedroia - .304/.336/.491
Jacoby Ellsbury - .358/.400/.667
Kevin Youkilis - .167/.302/.222 (10 games, injured)
David Ortiz - .287/.396/.372

Jon Lester - 1-3, 5.40
Josh Beckett - 1-2, 5.48 (4 starts, injured)
Clay Buchholz - Injured
   88. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4225541)
This team has been so bad, that I don't know why anyone would want to come here unless the offer is significantly more than what someone else is offering.


If the offer is more, the players will come. For what it's worth David Ortiz, Cody Ross and Jacoby Ellsbury have stated recently that they are desirous of returning. Obviously a lot of that is posturing but I think it's worth noting.
   89. Dale Sams Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4225545)
I believe Ortiz and Ross...Ells is definitly not shutting a door right now.

But mostly i meant players like Hamilton and certainly Swisher.
   90. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4225550)
Darren, their life sucks? [...] I would love to be in that position: work 10-15 years, retire young, and live. Wow. That sucks.

You'd be surprised how few of them actually think like that, though. Other than the true stars, most MLB players spend their whole careers looking over their shoulders.

Playing professional baseball is very similar to high school: People tend to "enjoy" it much more in hindsight than they did at the time.
   91. Darren Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4225553)
I wouldn't be at all surprised if many Major Leagues are highly stressed about their lives. They're human beings. Just as what I get stressed about would seem crazy to a person who lives a much less comfortable life, their stresses don't resonate with us. The short work life, in fact, probably stresses them out more than it relaxes them--OMG, I only have 10-15 years to do this right; I have got to make it count!
   92. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4225555)
That's what sports psychologists are for. They can afford it. If it were me and I was that stressed, I'd be talking to someone daily.
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4225558)

hoo boy, re Twitter:

Michael Silverman ?@MikeSilvermanBB

Bobby V issued sarcastic 'sorry' if anyone disappointed he kept job after bkfst w Henry. He does indeed remain #RedSox manager.
   94. rr Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4225561)
Interesting thread.

A point I would make about the "stress" issue is that playing baseball at the MLB level, is, obviously, a highly calibrated, specialized skill, and has of course rigorous performance metrics and the perks, the money, etc. come with enormous scrutiny. So, in that context, if the guy is a little off, a little distracted, it might be a big deal, in terms of his performance.

Or it might not, in that it is more or less impossible to separate among random variance, aging, physical injuries, etc. and psychological factors.

But at the same time, since it is so tough and the margins are so narrow, you do need a guy in the manager's office who creates an atmosphere conducive to success. There are different ways to do this, of course, but it is essential. I am reminded of the BP comment about Ron Washington in the 2012 book. They noted that Washington has, as was discussed here last fall, made some very odd tactical moves in big games, but they also talked about what a great job he has done with the various personalities in the Texas clubhouse and how much all the players seem to respect and like him. And obviously, even though they have come up short in the World Series, that team really plays for Washington, and they are doing it again in 2012.

Some of that is just Texas having a lot of good major league baseball players, but I think some of the credit also clearly needs to go to Ron Washington. So ISTM that while Boston's problems obviously have a lot of causes other than Bobby Valentine, Valentine has not really done the job in creating the atmosphere conducive to success (a very tough job in this case) and for that and other reasons, Boston needs to try someone else.
   95. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4225567)
The team is 2nd in runs. What they've lacked on offense is the big years from the established stars- and most of that can be attributed to injury (Crawford, Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury) Hard to see how that's really on the manager. Likewise, the bullpen has been better than you can really expect considering the pre-season closer was out most of the season, the 8th inning guy completely fell apart, and the best performing late inning reliever got put on the 60 day DL halfway through the season. If I told you before the season that by labor day the Sox would have used 29 position players and 25 pitchers, what would you have predicted their record to be?

Moreover, look at the starting pitching. It's the only part of the team that's been fairly healthy, but it's also been terrible. Bard flamed out spectacularly. Josh Beckett was the definition of replacement level. Jon Lester still is. Clay Buchholz started off the season incredibly poorly in his return from a broken back. Doubront has been slightly better than you'd expect for a 5th starter. When you get less than 1 WAR from your opening day rotation, you're going to be a shitty team. That the Sox aren't even worse than they've been is a minor miracle, and it's pretty hard to blame that on the manager.

I expect Ortiz to be back. I'm not sure what AL team would want to hire him away at a price and location that would be preferable to Boston, and I'd be very surprised if the Sox want to part with their most popular, and longest tenured player in the aftermath of 13 months of drama and agita from the team.
   96. Textbook Editor Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4225576)
Take this FWIW, I was talking with a White Sox front office guy last week and he said Scioscia was the clear favorite to replace Valentine barring an unforeseen playoff run by the Angels.


Oh hells no.
   97. Jay Seaver Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4225592)
Fourth-ing the "no to Scioscia" sentiment. While I'm sure I'd despise him less if he was on my team, he really gets my back up more than any other manager I see regularly. Plus, no matter how disappointing the Angels are, he's signed until something like 2132, and I really doubt he's fallen that far out of favor with the ownership.
   98. Mattbert Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4225609)
If they hire Scioscia, my Red Sox fandom will be officially in hibernation. I'll adopt the Rays for a bit.
   99. tjm1 Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4225619)
Except, you know, they stopped playing great with a month left in the 2011 season.


The best players on last year's team -- Ellsbury, Pedroia and Gonzalez -- played well in September. Ortiz wasn't great, but did have a .396 OBP in September. Youkilis and Saltalamacchia fell apart last year. Salty has fallen apart this year, too - maybe as one of the largest men to catch in the bigs, and someone who doesn't seem like the type of guy to admit he needs a day off, they need to watch his workload. The collapse last year was mostly the starting pitchers, and also Youkilis and Saltalamacchia. It wasn't, for the most part, the top hitters on the team.

   100. Dan Posted: September 03, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4225743)
After Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-4 in today's game, he is 4-for-31 in his last eight games, with 0 XBH and 0 walks.

Adrian Gonzalez has hit .211/.268/.342 since being traded to the Dodgers.
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