5 Reasons Bobby Valentine Never Stood a Chance in Boston
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The 2012 Boston Red Sox are a complete mess, but it is not entirely Bobby Valentine’s fault.
Between the players refusing to buy into his management style and ownership unwilling to let him manage his way, Bobby V never stood a chance.
Here are five reasons why Valentine never stood a chance in Boston.
The Former Manager Was a Favorite in the Locker Room
It's difficult to replace Terry Francona.
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Even though the 2011 season was historically bad, Terry Francona was still the most successful manager in Boston Red Sox history.
When Bobby Valentine was hired to replace the much-loved Francona, he immediately had to fight an uphill battle to connect with players.
Valentine tried to take charge when he spoke out about Kevin Youkilis early in the season, but Dustin Pedroia and other players weren’t ready to succumb to a new manager. The rest of the season was a struggle to gain the trust of the locker room.
Management Didn’t Agree with the Decision to Hire Valentine
Ownership and management weren't on the same page.
When Bobby Valentine was hired and paraded in front of the media last fall, general manager Ben Cherington pretended to be on board, but Valentine wasn’t his first choice.
Larry Lucchino wanted Valentine to replace Terry Francona because he was a big-name candidate that would help the NESN ratings.
Meanwhile, Cherington went along with the decision despite wanting to hire Dale Sveum.
How could anyone expect Valentine to have success when his bosses weren’t on the same page regarding his hiring?
Valentine Was out of Touch
Valentine was away from the major leagues for too long.
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You can argue about Bobby Valentine’s success as a manager at the major league level as much as you’d like, but the fact that he had been away from American baseball for 10 years should have been a white flag.
Valentine could have been a good bench coach, but the game has change significantly since he managed the New York Mets and players are more coddled than ever.
If Valentine were to have success managing, he should have transitioned back by taking on a lesser role before taking on a major managing role in a high-pressure city such as Boston.
The Locker Room Was a Mess
Players never bought into Bobby V as manager.
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The Boston locker room was a mess before Bobby Valentine came stepped in as manager.
Though he tried to gain the respect of the veteran players, things were much worse than Valentine anticipated.
The locker room was so bad that the team traded away one of its best players (Adrian Gonzalez) in order to get rid of malcontent Josh Beckett.
Valentine will have roughly six weeks to see if he can get the team to believe in him. If they don’t, he will most likely be fired after just one disappointing season.
Bobby V Was Never Given a Chance to Manage His Way
Valentine was never given a chance to be Bobby V.
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Aside from the other hurdles that Bobby Valentine was forced to overcome, he also wasn’t allowed to manage his way.
Valentine got significant push back from players when he tried to reprimand Mike Aviles in spring training, and management wouldn’t let him start Jose Iglesias in order to emphasize defense up the middle.
Even when Valentine tried to be sarcastic with Will Middlebrooks after a rough inning in the field, Valentine got slack for mistreating the rookie third baseman.
Now that the Red Sox made a significant trade, Valentine may have the green light to manage his way and he will be fighting to keep his job.