After a campaign filled with failed expectations and clubhouse drama, the Boston Red Sox have fired Bobby Valentine, according to the Red Sox official Twitter feed.
BREAKING: Bobby Valentine will not return as #RedSox Manager in 2013. EVP/GM Ben Cherington to lead managerial search.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 4, 2012
UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 4 at 1:25 p.m. ET
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News passes along comments from Valentine, who starts by saying he understands the team's choice to let him go after a frustrating season.
"I understand this decision. This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation. ... It was a privilege to be part of the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches. My best to the organization. I’m sure next year will be a turnaround year."
Due to all the buzz about a potential move late in the season, Valentine has had awhile to prepare for this moment and handled it well. Things just didn't work out for the Red Sox and they decided to go in another direction. It's impossible to blame them given the results.
---End of update---
This wasn't hard to see coming. Choosing the hard-nosed Valentine to succeed the mild-mannered Terry Francona in Beantown was an interesting choice in the first place, and the change in managerial style didn't sit well with Boston players all season long.
Yahoo! Sports reporter Jeff Passan alluded to it with his report in mid-August, after some Red Sox players reportedly called a meeting with Boston's front office to discuss their unhappiness.
At that point, the gulf between Valentine and his players seemed to grow every day. His hands-on approach wasn't what the core Red Sox players were used to, and he pushed more than enough buttons.
Passan mentioned incidents like Valentine leaving Jon Lester in for an extended amount of time against Toronto, and a disparaging remark he made to third baseman Will Middlebrooks after the youngster made an error in the field.
These are just a few of many incidents that came to light throughout Valentine's tumultuous season in the Boston dugout.
Calling Valentine the scapegoat for a disappointing team would be an accurate statement. The Red Sox have underachieved going back to last season, and they've failed to justify their $173.2 million opening-day payroll this season.
All in all, failure has been the flavor in Boston for the past two years. After bringing in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez prior to the 2011 campaign, the team was expected to make World Series runs through the near future.
Instead, the Red Sox pitching has floundered, the lineup has lacked any form of continuity and Crawford was a major disappointment before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Valentine's stint as Boston manager didn't last long, and Boston's next skipper will enter an equally precarious situation.