Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is also apparently a historian. It’s true. Of the Red Sox roster, Valentine said yesterday “This is the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball. It could use help everywhere.” I like that phrase “in the history of baseball.” I mean who can blame Valentine for managing a team to last place when he has the weakest roster in the entire 100-plus years of baseball?
It’s great watching a team like the Red Sox, a team that has basically imploded, as those responsible for their demise start making excuses and throwing others under the bus. What is Valentine really saying with his broad sweeping statement? He’s saying a few things.
First, he’s pointing fingers at the front office for not getting the job done on trades. Valentine is also pointing the finger at his players by indicating that they are subpar. And of course, he’s diverting blame from himself. It’s a childish pattern we have seen all season.
It is true that the Red Sox have a weak roster, but consider who they got rid of this season—Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett. It’s true that Beckett was having a lousy year, but he’s a talented player. Plus, the Red Sox have been hampered by injuries. But they still had some solid talent through most of the season.
Is this the weakest team in “the history of baseball?” No, I seem to remember some Yankees, Mets and other Red Sox teams that had much weaker rosters. (Remember, we are talking “history” here!) The early Met rosters were pathetic and the pre-Steinbrenner Yankees were a laughingstock. What about the Pirates for the last decade and the Phillies when Curt Shilling was pitching for them? Those were terrible teams.
And then there’s the Red Sox of the mid 1970s. You know, those were the days that you could walk up to a ticket booth at Fenway and get a front row seat for a Yankee game as the National Anthem was playing. Man, those were really weak rosters! No one wanted to see those guys play.
Does Valentine know history? I don’t think so. This may be a team with the weakest manager in baseball history but not the weakest roster.