Bobby Valentine was asked a simple question before Tuesday night’s game against the Yankees: Why does he think he should return as manager of the Red Sox next season?
“I’m the best man for the job,” he said. “Was that a tough question, by the way?”
Valentine said the constant speculation about his job status has not bothered him.
“I haven’t lost any sleep, only because when I get to bed, I’m worn out,” he said. “These games have worn me out, to tell you the truth, very often.”
Valentine said he thinks he will be back next season because he hasn’t been told otherwise by ownership.
“This is a continuous question,” he said. “It’s like one of those things. Is something going to happen? Well, until it doesn’t . . .”
Would Valentine like to know his fate sooner or later?
“Much later,” he said. “Four or five years from now, I would say. At least.”
If the man is going out, he’s going out with his sense of humor intact.
Matsuzaka stays in
On Sunday, Valentine said the Red Sox were seriously considering taking Daisuke Matsuzaka out of the rotation. But after watching the righthander throw in the bullpen Tuesday, the decision was made to start him against Toronto Friday.
Matsuzaka could not get out of the second inning against Toronto last Saturday, giving up five runs in a game the Sox lost, 9-2.
“He looked real good,” said Valentine. “Talked to him today. I think we might have found something that feels good about him.”
That “something” was a mechanical flaw in his delivery from the stretch that was corrected.
Matsuzaka has been unable to get through four innings in three of his last four starts.
Salty sits again
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game as he gets over back spasms . . . . He played catch with head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson on the field before batting practice. “Like to give him another day,” said Valentine . “He threw, he hit, he felt OK. The medical staff felt [if] after hitting and throwing tomorrow, maybe he could play.” . . . Felix Doubront threw well in the bullpen Monday and will start against the Yankees Wednesday as scheduled. The lefthander is 0-4 with an 8.27 ERA in his last seven starts . . . Franklin Morales had an MRI on his sore left shoulder Monday. He said he is feeling better, but it It doesn’t sound as though he will take the mound again this season. “I think considering the whole situation, I don’t think he needs to pitch anymore,” Valentine said . . . “Maybe, but I don’t think he needs to.” . . . Will Middlebrooks is out of the hard brace he was wearing on his fractured right wrist. He has range of motion but is very sore. The rookie third baseman has been taking grounders.
The flag at Fenway Park was at half-staff in memory of the Sept. 11 attacks, and the Red Sox held a pregame ceremony that included the families of seven of the victims: Phil Guza, Will Hunt, Joseph Mathai, Craig Miller, David Retik, Amy Sweeney, and Patrick Quigley.
Valentine, who was managing the Mets at the time of the attacks, was heavily involved in relief efforts and befriended many families who lost loved ones.
“For people who are still healing who were personally grieved by this tragic event, every day is an anniversary, every day is another day that they’re reminded that their lives have changed,” Valentine said.“I’m grateful that I worked side by side with a lot of people who gave a damn.”
“All I say is that I thank all the people who, without a doubt, gave more than others. People stepped up and did a yeoman’s job of filling voids in people’s lives, filling voids in that community of New York and D.C. and Pennsylvania and filling the voids in the country.
More for Pesky
The Red Sox are working on plans to pay further tribute to the late Johnny Pesky after the game against Baltimore Sept. 23 . . . Dustin Pedroia has hit safely in 34 of his last 37 games at .375. His home run in the sixth inning was his third in four games at Fenway . . . The Sox are 11 of 11 in stolen base attempts since Aug. 29 . . . The victory was only for the second for the Sox in seven games against the Yankees at Fenway this season . . . The Yankees are 27-29 since the All-Star break . . . Cody Ross started in left field for the first time since May 9. . . . When Derek Jeter scored in the first inning, it gave him 1,859 career runs. That tied Mel Ott for 12th place all-time . . . Thanks to roster expansion, the teams had 65 players in uniform for the game .
. . . Yankees lefthander Andy Pettitte will throw a simulated game at Fenway Wednesday afternoon. If that goes well, he could off the disabled list to make a start next week. Pettitte has been out since June 28 with a fractured left ankle.