Bailey is convinced the Red Sox can contend next season.
“I have the utmost confidence and respect for the organization,” he said. “We all know that Ben and the front office are going to put a winning team on the field. It’s just that we have to wait to the offseason to do that. With the core guys that we have here, we’ll make the moves we need to make.”
It is unlikely Valentine will be around for that. Bailey said one of the toughest aspects of the season for him was not being able to do more to help a manager he respects.
“It’s been tough to see,” he said. “Unfortunately, he has to wear a lot of that stuff because he’s the manager. We’ve had to deal with a lot of injuries and he’s dealing with new players every day. It’s been hard on everyone and especially him. I know he’s doing the best he can.”
It’s hard to quantify what kind of difference Bailey would have made for the Sox had he been healthy all season. But teammates believe his impact would have been significant.
“He’s a bulldog,” outfielder Cody Ross said. “Any time he gets the ball — and I’ve faced him numerous occasions — it’s not a fun at-bat against Bailey. He’s coming right at you and he works quick and makes you get ready. We definitely missed him.”