Bobby Valentine is one of many disappointments for the Boston Red Sox in 2012. In fact from my point of view, Valentine leads the way as far as this season’s disappointments are concerned. There were many others but Valentine, who managed to mismanage the team while constantly offering excuses, is a true MLB fiasco. I don’t know if any manager has ever taken a team from 90 wins to less than 75 in such a short span of time. Here are a few other situations that led to utter frustration this season.
The pitching staff was abysmal. Josh Beckett was absolutely terrible on the mound and a horrible leader off the mound. One of the best things that the Red Sox did was to trade him. When Beckett left Boston for the Los Angeles Dodgers he was 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA. He has not done any better with the Dodgers.
Injuries certainly hurt the Red Sox. Key injuries to Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, David Ortiz and Daisuke Matsuzaka made it tough for Boston to put together any sustained winning effort. There were others who also went down during the season, but these were the worst.
Another major factor was the inability of the Red Sox front office to react quickly when needed. Starting with the search for a new manager to the need to make changes during the All-Star break and to any possible opportunities before the trade deadline, those in charge, including GM Ben Cherington and president Larry Lucchino, reacted like an aging outfielder to a sinking line drive.
Overall lack of respect for Red Sox history and for the organization was displayed by most team members, as a large number of players elected to go home after returning from a road trip instead of attending Johnny Pesky’s funeral. Along with player ambivalence towards the iconic Pesky was Lucchino’s decision to defend those who did not go to the funeral. It was all in bad form and indicative of the lack of pride and respect on this team. What a terrible lack of interest and decorum.
The late August-early September road trip where the Red Sox went 1-8 was a huge indicator of just how bad of a team this is. That was about the worst showing of the season by Boston. It sealed the team’s fate and led many to believe that Bobby Valentine would be fired sooner than later.
Finally, it’s back to Valentine. But this time my disappointment has to due with management’s inability to take a stand, admit that they made a major error in hiring the guy and fire him before the end of the season. Talk about giving up! The Red Sox owners and front office did nothing while Valentine continued to damage the team with his inane statements and excuses. The result—the Red Sox are the clowns of the 2012 baseball season rather than the “idiots” and World Champions they were eight years ago in 2004. Here’s to 2013.