For Bobby Valentine, things couldn’t have started off much worse since he took over the helm as manager of the Boston Red Sox this past offseason.
The Red Sox were 11-11 through April, an abysmal start that included a 1-5 record to open the season. Alfredo Aceves blew two save opportunities in his first four tries to open up his 2012 season. Josh Beckett’s ERA was 4.45 in the first month, Clay Buchholz looked worse and Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury were on the shelf for extended periods of time before Boston fans knew what hit 'em.
Valentine knew what he was getting into when he transitioned from his TV analyst job back into the dugout. He just didn’t know that he would have to make shift the lineup and fill the holes everywhere else left behind by last season’s September collapse.
Since the turn into May, things have changed; most say for the better. Beckett’s performance has since improved, the offense is hitting and the bullpen seems to be under control for the most part. Despite losing their first five games this month, the Red Sox are a respectable 23-24, substantially better now than the overall record will tell you.
So, can April’s ice-cold start really be connected to the fiery and controversial Valentine? Here are three reasons why that’s not the case: