Larry Lucchino simply won’t admit that the Boston Red Sox front office made a mistake in hiring manager Bobby Valentine. It’s like Lucchino, the Red Sox president and chief executive officer, is standing next to an elephant saying. “Ummm, what elephant? I don’t see an elephant.”
In statements made after the firing, Lucchino is still standing behind the decision to hire Bobby Valentine as manager for the 2012 and 2013 season. Valentine will not be the skipper for the 2013 Red Sox, as he was axed the day following the end of the 2012 season. It was a season that may be lumped together with other disasters such as the sinking of the Titanic and the explosion of the Hindenburg. Consider Boston’s 2012 season in relationship to either of those events and then add the Chinese water torture to get the total effect.
When asked about the Valentine mistake, Lucchino said, “I’m not sure that’s fair. We thought the decision was a sensible, rational one last year. What we were looking for at the time seemed to be what Bobby Valentine presented at the time.”
Then he was asked about what took the Red Sox so long to fire Valentine when it was “apparent” midway through the season that was the only solution.
Lucchino answered, “Well, again, you said seemed to be apparent. When did it seem to be apparent?” The president noted, “In August, there was a lot of fluttering about on this issue. We thought we needed to put it aside when the team was still in the race. We wanted to create some white space, a period of quietude that would last at least until the end of the season. That was part of the motivation.”
That’s a very odd answer since the Red Sox were sinking quickly in August. In July they were 12-15. It’s true that in July the Sox were still in it as far as standings were concerned, but they were losing ground and performing inconsistently at best. In the first half of August, Boston went 4-10. That meant they were 16 and 25 in July and the first two weeks of August. The last half of August saw them go 4-10 again!
The Red Sox were 20-35 in July and August and Lucchino thought, “the team was still in the race?” Funny, but it was sometime in August or early September that the Boston president was saying it would take a miracle for the Red Sox to make the playoffs.
To gain trust back from fans, Lucchino needs be a grownup and admit that major mistakes were made in both the hiring of Valentine and in keeping the manager with the team long past his expiration date. Until he does that what we will continue to have is “a failure to communicate” on all levels. Maybe Lucchino needs to think about stepping down? His inability to grasp reality is alarming.