The only players Valentine managed who are on the 2013 Red Sox are Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, Franklin Morales, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Daniel Nava, Will Middlebrooks, and Jacoby Ellsbury.
“Those guys went through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears with me, and I with them, so I’m happy for them,” Valentine said. “I’m happy they could be part of a winning situation.”
Cherington deserves a lot of credit for the 2013 edition of the team, and he personally took blame for the 2012 season. Give him credit for not only firing the manager, but firing the players, too. That’s doesn’t happen very often. It was Valentine who took the fall on the management side. Nobody else lost their job.
Although Valentine has not returned to Fenway Park for a game since he was fired, he has kept in touch with players and front-office people.
Pedroia said he tried calling Valentine during the season to check on him. Despite a rocky start in 2012, Pedroia and Valentine grew to understand one another. Ortiz was a Valentine backer until Valentine said at the end of last season that Ortiz decided to shut it down (because of an Achilles’ heel injury) after he knew the season was over.
Ortiz has hammered Valentine ever since.
Valentine recently lost a TBS gig because he said the Yankees didn’t do enough during the terror attacks of 9/11. He played a big role in helping with the healing process while managing the Mets. So he’s using his words carefully now. He knows just by being quoted he’ll get hammered again.
He expects it. It’s easy.
Like my mother and the braided rug.