Cue the gasps…not.
The firing of Bobby Valentine was a long time coming, and now we can all bask in the relief that the Red Sox organization took care of this expediently.
The day after Fenway Park’s ceremonious 100th season ended with the Red Sox being swept by the Yankees, no one who followed the downward spiral of this season should have been surprised that this happened—and happened so quickly.
I’m glad that Valentine is OK after his ominous bike accident in Central Park the morning of game 162, but extremely glad to see that he will be replaced at the helm of the Red Sox next year.
It would have been nice if Fenway’s centennial could have been marked by a winning season (or a season with at least 70 wins). But at least we all got to recognize the great players of the past and present with three All-Fenway teams and celebrate the eighth anniversary of the 2004 World Series win.
Throughout the season, we longed with nostalgia for the excitement of those four days in October.
Revisiting a time when the Red Sox had the talent to win eight games in a row, or even make the postseason, was a nice distraction—if only for a minute—from the frustrating circumstances that awaited us on the field.
Sadly, after the duck boat ceremony was over we realized that Pedro was making his way to a seat in the crowd instead of taking the mound for some masterful performance pitching.
Looking back on this season, it’s almost unbelievable to realize what just happened. The fact that the Sox actually ended this year with a record of 69-93 is astonishing.
While some may say that this crash-and-burn season was not entirely Valentine’s fault, he failed to do anything to stop it.
Valentine will be remembered as a manager who did nothing for this team except expose the poor influence that Larry Lucchino has on the hiring decisions of the Red Sox front office.
Ben Cherington needs to take the lead in this situation and choose a manager who he thinks will be the best fit to redeem this team and organization from the major embarrassment they suffered this season.
This firing is just the beginning of many smart moves that Cherington and and his staff will make in the coming months, hopefully with little input from John, Tom and Larry.