Red Sox Notes: Francona, Valentine, Henry

Red Sox owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington met the team in Seattle yesterday, but they don't appear to be there to implement further changes. Henry told reporters that he doesn't plan to fire manager Bobby Valentine despite Boston's recent struggles and 62-74 record. Here are some more Red Sox-related notes…

  • The Red Sox should dismiss Valentine and hire Terry Francona again, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Rosenthal makes it clear that Valentine won’t return to Boston in 2013, but reports that Francona won’t be invited back either, according to people familiar with the situation. The team’s owners will try to “lower the volume” with their next hire, Rosenthal writes. Plus, Francona could draw interest from other teams.
  • Red Sox players don’t trust owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports. The players see the owners as the source of leaks and lies and they have an equally frustrated relationship with Valentine, Passan writes. The Red Sox need to dismiss Valentine before the 2013 season, Passan writes.


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62 Comments on "Red Sox Notes: Francona, Valentine, Henry"


Member
bigpat
2 years 10 months ago

Hiring Francona back would be pathetic. The core of their team is already getting old and not as good, why bring back a coach just to appeal to those guys? They’ve already started their rebuilding efforts by getting rid of some big guys during the season, why not just continue to build your team around the younger talent and move in a new direction?

Member
hawkny1
2 years 10 months ago

John Henry will not rehire Terry Francona. To do so would admit firing him was a mistake and it wasn’t. Time and circumstances march on. What Henry has to do is finish cleaning out the deadwood to start fresh with new leadership and new players. As for distrust, by the players, they are just going to have to ride this out to its logical conclusion…. it is understandable their sense of security is shaken right now but that will abate as the season winds down.

Member
MaineSox
2 years 10 months ago

“The core of their team is getting old…”

Pedroia – 29
Lester – 28
Ellsbury – 28
Buchholz – 28
Saltalamacchia – 27
Doubront – 24
Middlebrooks – 23
(Morales – 26, and Iglesias – 22, could be considered core players depending on their roles next year)

The average age of the Red Sox’s roster is 28.3, good for 15th (right smack in the middle) and actually about a year closer to the team at the bottom (Houston – 26.2) than the team at the top (Yankees – 31). They’re actually a full year younger than the Rays and Jays, who are always seen as young teams who build from within. The only “old” core player is Ortiz, who is 36, but he’s still among the best hitters in the game (3rd best hitter in the game this year according to wOBA, 4th best by wRC+).

I know that wasn’t the crux of your argument, but it’s something that gets repeated all the time and really isn’t true.

More to your point though, that is exactly what they have said they plan to do (build around the young guys and move in a ‘new’ direction – a new direction which is actually exactly the old [2004-2007] direction).

Member
Rangersalchamps
2 years 10 months ago

What he means is the Rays and Orioles core are younger and more talented thus making your core irrelevant. Salty, Iglesias, Morales? C’mon Mainy those players don’t make up a core. Top 4 do but they will all be 30 and exspensive soon

” it’s something that gets repeated all the time and is really not true.” It’s like saying the rays only win because they draft high, definitly frustrating.

– Yours truly favorite RS troll

Member
MaineSox
2 years 10 months ago

As I pointed out, the Red Sox are actually younger than the Rays. Plus, 30 is right in the middle of their peak, so the fact that they will be 30 (in a year or two) does not mean that they are getting old, and they certainly aren’t getting expensive (the most expensive any of those guys gets is Buchholz at $13.5M in 2017). And Middlebrooks and Doubront are as much a part of the core as anyone at this point.

The Rays only win because they draft well.

Member
Lionel Bossman Craft
2 years 10 months ago

People want to blame Bobby but forget Boston has missed the playoff the last few seasons. And you cant blame Bobby for the September collapse or the horrible April Boston has last year when they got of who like an 0-6 start. This team has fundamental flaws that were here long before Bobby came aboard. He just makes an easy scapegoat.

Member
Crucisnh
2 years 10 months ago

Yes, managers make easy scapegoats. And that’s just life in the big leagues.

But I think that too many people focus on his on-field performance and overlook his off-field performance, which may be the primary cause for player unhappiness. Today, managing a baseball team is increasingly more about managing the players’ personalities, managing the clubhouse, and less about managing the team on the field. And I get the feeling that BV is a poor clubhouse manager.

Member
YanksFanSince78
2 years 10 months ago

These are professional players. If they allow their feelings towards a manger to effect their level of play then THEY are the problem and not the manager.

Member
Crucisnh
2 years 10 months ago

They’re human beings, not robots.

Member
YanksFanSince78
2 years 10 months ago

They are human being being paid tens of millions of dollars. Whether you like or dislike the manager that should NOT have a darn thing to do with your offense, defense or pitching.

Here’s a news flash. Bobby V isn’t the first manager that was hated by his players. Others have managed to succeed despite that.

Bottom line is..the good teams with Billy Martin won DESPITE hating him. The bad teams with Billy Martin lost NOT because they hated him but because they sucked. This is a decent enough Sox team that IF healthy, they should be professional enough to win anyway.

Member
Crucisnh
2 years 10 months ago

You can grump and groan and stomp your feet all you want. That won’t change the fact that if the players really dislike a certain manager, it will disrupt things and affect performance.

Member
Brian Jud
2 years 10 months ago

A “rebuilding” situation would be good for a new manager. I’m thinking Sandy Alomar, Jr. I hoped they’d hire him this past offseason, and I knew they liked him a lot.

Plus as I’ve read elsewhere on this site, Valentine is more of a “win now” type of manager; that’s why they hired him. He might not work as well with a rebuilding situation.

Member
Redsox7
2 years 10 months ago

Dwight Evans manager?!

Member
Matt Miller
2 years 10 months ago

Sandberg.

Member
crashcameron
2 years 10 months ago

Jim Rice? Freddie Lynn?

Member
YanksFanSince78
2 years 10 months ago

Isn’t it true that Bobby V doesn’t have any of his own coaches on his staff? Aren’t most of them leftovers from 2011? I really think that firing him would show further dysfunction from above. They knew exactly what kind of personality he was from the beginning. He speaks his mind and has a tendency to rub players the wrong way and give fodder to the press. The players shouldn’t be the ones running this show. Give him another year and let the W/L dictate if he needs to be replaced.

Member
jb226
2 years 10 months ago

I don’t disagree with you that the players shouldn’t be running the show, but one also must not underestimate the power of psychology. If the players are unhappy, distrustful, angry, if they are resentful that Bobby Valentine is their manager for another year then it is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. They WILL struggle and underperform and chances are they will care less and less that they are doing so as time goes by. They have a built-in excuse: Not just Bobby Valentine himself, but the indifference to their opinions and their feelings that bringing him back would show. People can argue against it or claim the players should man up and deal with it or whatever else and maybe they’re right, but that’s human nature, and every day the feelings persist cements those feelings even more strongly.

I don’t blame Bobby Valentine for any of that necessarily, nor am I saying it is right — but I do think it is reality. So if you are the Red Sox owners and management, do you bring him back for another year just to thumb your nose at the complainers and teach them how you’re going to do whatever you want and they had better fall in line? You certainly can. I wouldn’t recommend it if you want the team to do better.

Bobby Valentine might not deserve to be fired, but he should be.

Member
YanksFanSince78
2 years 10 months ago

But you have to ask yourself, what the heck can Bobby V possibly be doing to warrant professionals getting paid millions to under perform? What legit excuse does a player have not to play up to their potential? So what he doesn’t coddle you. So what he calls you out in front of other players. It’s your job to play. Too much coddling. Fire a manager if he makes boneheaded plays or something that directly effects W/L’s and in 2012 he had less to do with those outcomes than most want to admit. He’s an easy scapegoat.

Member
MaineSox
2 years 10 months ago

Or, fire a manager if he intentionally overuses a pitcher to the point of potentially putting the rest of his career at risk. Or if he doesn’t take his job seriously, doesn’t show up until several hours after he’s supposed to, refuses to speak to people he doesn’t like or doesn’t get along with.

Member
YanksFanSince78
2 years 10 months ago

Which pitcher did he overuse? What makes you think he doesn’t take his job serious? And just who does he HAVE to speak to if he really doesn’t? I personally am against this idea that a manager has to be a nice guy. Who cares? You make it sound as if the Red Sox players all have daddy issues and all need a collective hug.

Member
MaineSox
2 years 10 months ago

In the four days following Aceves’ return from his suspension Valentine made him throw 143 pitches (143 pitches in 4 days), and 63 of those pitches were on the fourth day. It was reported two days later that players’ representatives had complained to the front office about Valentines usage of them (maybe you don’t, but I have to assume that it was Aceves’ representative given the circumstances and proximity to that happening).

Then he shows up to the park several hours after he’s supposed to be there and when he’s asked about batting Podsednik third in the order he acts like he didn’t even know where he was batting (and maybe he didn’t), his response was “Is that what it says on the lineup? … Who knows, maybe it will look good. I haven’t seen it.”

And I don’t understand how you can seriously act like the manager not talking to anyone isn’t an issue. Why is he even there? He’s obviously not doing anything if he wont talk to anyone, doesn’t even know what’s going on, and doesn’t actually manage the team. It isn’t about the players feelings, it’s about Bobby being intentionally out of the loop; it would be like if your manager at work never actually showed up in the office, never talked to anyone there, had no idea what was going on, and just called occasionally to move people from department to department – do you think he would ever be able to actually accomplish anything, and do you think you would actually consider him a good manager?

Member
YanksFanSince78
2 years 10 months ago

Let me make it clear. I’m not DEFENDING whether or not he is a good manager. What I am defending is the fact that he is being run out because the players don’t like his personality. As far as some of the things you mentioned, I question whether that reality or perception? Is he being purposely aloof to the press because of some of the things they’ve written (like saying he should be fired) or is he that out of touch? Either way…

Member
MaineSox
2 years 10 months ago

Well, that’s different then; it seemed at first like you were defending him as a good manager. I personally don’t care what the players think of his personality, I only care when his personality affects how well he does his job, which it seemingly is (and not because of players having hurt feelings, but because there are certain things that a manager has to, or is supposed to do, that he simply can’t, or won’t, because of his attitude), and I care about the fact that his in-game management has been pretty bad too IMO (and seems to have been a lot worse lately, almost like he’s doing it intentionally now for one reason or another, but that’s pure speculation on my part).

As far as whether it’s just to media or legitimate aloofness, I don’t know (with his answer about Podsednik), but his fairly extreme overuse of Aceves (which appeared to be punishment, but again, pure speculation on my part) isn’t perception, it happened (whether it was intentional, or terrible management doesn’t really make a difference in the end).

Member
johnsilver
2 years 10 months ago

Ya know.. For punishment, they used to take a player and stick them way down at the end of the bench, or option them down to the minors and am fairly sure (without looking to double check) that Aceves has 1 option left.

Both would have been far better ways after his suspension, rather than sending him up there. That was hiw worst act of management this season IMO. Also? continually optioning Mortenson on the see-saw trips while keeping people like Gomez on the roster the last time and he and Cherrington are guilty of that, but you know Valentine had input.

Member
MaineSox
2 years 10 months ago

Also, I can’t post a link, but go to over the monster and read the article “Bobby Valentine Has Snapped” (or just google it). Snippet: “Asked how difficult the six-game losing streak has been on Sunday evening, a despondent Valentine just muttered, ‘What difference does it make?'”

Although, I do have to give him a little credit for telling the reporter he wants to punch him in the mouth, I feel that way about them a lot of the time too.

Member
jb226
2 years 10 months ago

Many moons ago, back in a high school American history class, we were discussing the beginnings of the Spanish-American war: Specifically, the mysterious sinking of the USS Maine that proved a catalyst to the conflict. My history teacher made a comment that has stuck with me until this day: It’s not the truth that matters, it’s the perception of the truth.

I’m not scapegoating Valentine, nor am I necessarily defending the players. I’m simply dealing with the situation that exists, not what the situation should be. The players are unhappy with him–it doesn’t really matter if they have a good reason to be or not, because they are–and I fully believe that unhappiness will continue to affect their performance and their motivation going forward. If you disagree with that, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

If you DON’T disagree with that then the only question is whether one acknowledges that reality and does something about it or clucks his tongue and bemoans spoiled players (or both). I’m always going to err on the side of trying to make things better and the simplest way to do so is to remove Bobby Valentine. That doesn’t mean he was wrong or that he deserves it, it means a bad situation exists and this helps to make it better. Nothing more.

(I think a case can also be made that managing overinflated player egos is part of a manager’s job and that if a manager does something that literally gets his team to revolt and talk to the owners about him that he probably is a poor manager regardless of if their claims are valid, but honestly that’s not important because it’s not the argument I’m making.)

Member
APNDaveR
2 years 10 months ago

About half the coaches are his selections — Ochoa, Niemann, etc., some were carryovers from 2011 (Tuck being the most prominent), and some were new hires that were made before Valentine’s hiring (McClure).

Member
MaineSox
2 years 10 months ago

Neither of those things are accurate (re: the coaching staff). Bob McClure wasn’t his selection (and isn’t with the team anymore), and Tuck was a holdover from 2011 who Bobby didn’t have a choice on (he’s considered among the best at what he does, so he wasn’t going anywhere), but everyone else was selected by Bobby (Magadan has been with Boston since 2007, and Bogar since 2008, but both were actually Bobby’s choices to bring back and could have been replaced by someone else had he chosen to).