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Boston Red Sox Should Dump Bobby Valentine for Brad Mills

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 14:  Manager Brad Mills #4 of the Houston Astros walks back to the dugout after arguing a strike call in the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer IAugust 19, 2012

It might seem harsh to talk about firing a manager right after he had his team beat the Yankees in the Bronx.  And it might seem insane to replace that manager with another one who was fired and has his team on pace for back-to-back 100 loss seasons.

But it makes sense.

First of all, the Bobby Valentine era must end. It is not working. It is a rotten marriage and has been from the moment he was hired.

How toxic is it? The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the Bronx yesterday with great pitching from Jon Lester and a home run from Adrian Gonzalez. And the postgame talk is over Kelly Shoppach sending a text from Adrian Gonzalez's cell phone, according to the New York Daily News.

Yes, he has faced many injuries. Yes, the players need to take some responsibility for playing awful baseball. And yes, the team complaining to management seems petty and childish.

The recipe of putting Bobby Valentine into this Red Sox clubhouse has not worked. The proof is in the record as Boston will go into late August with a losing record.

Bobby Valentine is a terrific baseball mind and a very talented manager. But some situations just do not work with a person's talents. Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors ever, but his talents were not suited for 1941. (Trust me, that analogy makes sense.)

It might not be fair to fire Bobby Valentine now, but it would be smart. This season has not been all Bobby Valentine's fault, but he is a symptom that can be fixed.

If nothing else, it sends a message to the fanbase that they acknowledge that this season has been an exercise in joyless drudgery and there will be an attempt to fix it.

But why Brad Mills? The man who managed the Astros to their only 100-loss season and was well on his way to another one this year managing the Red Sox?

Sure. Mills was Terry Francona's bench coach for the 2004 and 2007 World Championship teams. His last year in Boston was 2009, their last postseason appearance.

He is a connection to the title years without being Francona himself, who had lost the team by the end of the 2011 debacle.

Perhaps a season of Valentine is what the veterans needed to realize how good they had it with Francona. Perhaps a manager who has the team's respect from experience will be the best direction to move forward.

And a team like the Red Sox should try to get a manager who has made his first-time mistakes with another team. Clearly Mills has an idea of what does not work from the dugout.

Bring Mills into the Boston dugout, create a new link to the title years and turn the page from this awful year.

How could it possibly be worse than the 2012 season?

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