Re: Exclusive: Red Sox stars blast manager Bobby Valentine in heated July meeting with ownership-Your Reaction?
posted at 8/14/2012 5:38 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Exclusive: Red Sox stars blast manager Bobby Valentine in heated July meeting with ownership-Your Reaction?
[QUOTE]max, the meeting got called, that's the part you failed to mention. It's a meeting that took place and called by unhappy Sox players who DON'T WANT TO PLAY FOR VALENTINE...
Posted by dannycater[/QUOTE]
Who said it didn't take place? Not me. In fact, my points assume the meeting did take place. And my main point remains: two managers in two years, both fired because of player ineptitude. Francona because he lost control, Bobby because he over-controlled or failed to communicate or left Lester in too long or said the wrong thing to the press or whatever. My ancillary point is that Lester got better after getting tagged for 11 runs. Maybe he got the point. I don't of course think Bobby V wasn't trying to make a point. He just didn't want to burn up his bullpen after his ace starter got tagged for 9 runs in the first two innings. Funny thing is, Lester got through the next two innings unscatched, but then gave up his 4th dinger and 2 more runs in the 5th. But innings 3 and 4 were ones the bullpen didn't have to pitch. Cold-blooded, yes, but necessary.
Our real disagreement is you honestly believe that managers inspire players to pitch shutouts, get clutch hits, etc, and I disagree. Pitchers make their own destinies by pitching well, almost completely independent of pep talks by managers. They are as likely to pitch well if their girlfriends get them to look through their eyelids, wear garter belts, or whatever. Same goes for hitters. Managers make a difference with their lineups and their substitutions, especially relievers, during the game. I think Bobby V has done pretty well at both.
I do think it's possible Youk played badly on purpose--as Manny did in 2008 to get out of Boston, which is what Youk wanted to do--but not likely. But I also don't think Middlebrooks played well because Bobby V inspired him--ditto Ortiz, ditto Ross, ditto AGon in July/August (in fact AGon's hitting has been fantastic since the July 27 meeting with 18 rbi's in August already), etc, etc. Pedroia may well be mad at Bobby, but that isn't why his hitting is off, I don't think. He is still getting over that thumb injury or his timing is off or whatever. His defense remains excellent. CC wants in the worst way to show what he can do, regardless of who the manager is. That is even more true of Ellsbury who still wants that big long-term contract.
I liked to give Francona credit when he was here for being a good manager, but let's not kid ourselves. He was successful because he had great talent and not so successful when he didn't--see his stint at Philly. See Joe Torre wherever he was before he got the Yankees job. Last year Francona had hands down the best lineup in baseball and still couldn't get to the playoffs. Why? Because the September pitching was the worst in MLB (highest ERA anyway).
This year Bobby V got hit with the double whammy. The rotation started bad and stayed bad, period. Lester and Beckett have both been off. Bard, not Bobby V's idea, was a mistake. Matsuzaka--no way. Buchholz started out horrible but now looks like an ace. Cook, up and down.
And the lineup has been a patchwork quilt. Three months without CC and Ells. Ross, Pedroia, Youk, Sweeney and Middlebrooks on the DL, and now Ortiz and Middlebrooks are both on it. Only 1b, C and SS have remained healthy out of 9 lineup positions. The reason why these guys won't play for Bobby V is primarily because they are on the dadgum DL. Knute Rockne couldn't get these guys to play for him--ditto the Gipper.
It could have been a triple whammy because the bullpen should have been a disaster after the FO took out Pap and Bard and brought in two stiffs, Melancon and Bailey. But Bobby V made it work, somehow.