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Boston Red Sox: Why Red Sox Had to Fire Bobby Valentine

September 17, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine (25) reacts in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIAugust 4, 2016

For Bobby Valentine, the 2012 season could be considered one of the worst in managerial history. And it goes way beyond just wins and losses.

The nightmare that was Valentine's first year in Boston began in spring training, and it only grew worse from there.

Valentine began to lose control of the undisciplined Red Sox in April when he questioned Kevin Youkilis' commitment. Youk was a fan favorite in Beantown, but lack of productivity and young prospects made the decision easier for Boston to part ways with him.

But as big of a fan favorite as Youkilis was, his strained relationship with Valentine was the turning point for Boston's front office.

Valentine didn't even get the nod from first-year GM Ben Cherington either, and it was clear he couldn't win from the beginning.

The Red Sox finished 69-93, their worst season since 1965, and were the laughing stock of Major League Baseball. But Valentine doesn't deserve all of the blame; He inherited a team that was full of overpaid players, and his starters couldn't stay healthy.

But as the season progressed, it seemed as if the Red Sox were going to be alright after being only a game and a half out of the wild-card spot halfway through the season. But just when things finally started to look up for Boston, it all came crashing down when a few players demanded a meeting with management to discuss their displeasure with Valentine.

Every time the Red Sox were in the news, it was because of the dysfunctional relationship amongst the team.

Boston realized its season was lost shortly after and went into "fire sale" mode by dumping Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of August.

Money can buy you great players, but it doesn't mean they'll continue to be great. The Red Sox learned that the hard way.

The move may have given hope to Valentine's future, but a tumultuous radio interview where he threatened to punch host Glenn Ordway in the face only solidified Valentine's fate at season's end.

There was no communication between Valentine, upper management and the players. It was clear as day his players didn't respect him, and nothing good was going to come out of the "Bobby Valentine experiment."

Now, Valentine leaves as the first Red Sox manager since Bucky Harris in 1934 to be fired after only one season. Maybe he'll return to Baseball Tonight, or maybe he'll just fade into the abyss, much like the Red Sox did this season.

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