The Boston Red Sox are four games under .500 and the playoffs have never looked further away. With the debacle of 2011 seemingly in the rear view, a new general manager and manager, this club was poised to make a run at the American League pennant in 2012.
And then the season started.
Boston brass replaced manager Terry Francona with the flamboyant Bobby Valentine, former New York Mets' manager. Known more for his mouth than his baseball prowess, Valentine has a history.
Things have pretty much gone downhill from there.
Valentine had been managing in Japan since 2004, his last Major League stint ending back in 2002 with the Mets.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the late July meeting between certain Sox players and ownership, where they aired their frustrations with Valentine.
This shouldn't be a huge surprise to anyone. Valentine has never been able to handle Major League personalities. When he was with the Mets, they went through much of the same things. The team started to lose respect for Valentine and rumors surfaced that marijuana use was widespread throughout the team, as reported by New York Newsday.
For a team looking to rebound from reported beer drinking in the clubhouse during games, Valentine seems like a silly hire and Boston is now paying the price.
Statistically, the Red Sox should have a better record. They are second in the American League in runs scored, third in RBIs, fourth in batting average, third in slugging percentage, and second in hits. Other teams in the top four in these categories? The Yankees, Rangers and Tigers. All three playoff bound, most likely.
So why aren't the Red Sox winning games? The answer has to be somewhere. If it's not in the stats, it must be in the coaching. The fact is, players have lost respect for Valentine, and this reported meeting of prominent players bashing him to ownership is just the beginning of the end for Bobby V.
When the media reports a meeting like this, how many times has the outcome been favorable for the manager? It is a slippery slope, and I think Valentine is at the top right now at the beginning of his descent.
Red Sox Nation is not patient. Unless the Sox make a quick turn around in the standings, I expect Valentine's tenure in Boston to end the same way it did in New York.