After the Boston Red Sox 7-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night, the Red Sox has now lost five straight (10 of last 13). As the team continues to hit new lows in the season, it is becoming clearer that Bobby Valentine’s time as manager is running out.
Alex Speier of WEEI in Boston suggests that the team needs to make a move immediate because Valentine seems uninterested in the team. An example is Valentine showing up to the ballpark on Friday much later than usual, not giving the players a chance to meet with the manager before the game. That night, the A’s embarrassed the Red Sox, 20-2. They are not in any way connected, but it does not make Valentine look good.
Speier also speaks on the questionable move, starting Scott Podsednik in the three-spot in Saturday’s defeat. Not to mention, a seemingly ongoing dispute with Alfredo Aceves. Stories like these and Valentine’s overall body language over the past couple weeks suggests that he knows his time is up.
Moving forward for next season, there are a handful scenarios’ to keep an eye on for the Red Sox when it comes to selecting a new manager.
One is Toronto Blue Jays manager and former Red Sox pitching coach, John Farrell. The Red Sox tried to get Farrell last season, but the Blue Jays would not allow it. Farrell was the team’s pitching coach in the 2007 World Series season before leaving for Toronto in 2010. Because of his familiarity with the players and organization, he could possibly be the best fit for the team.
They could also follow the trend set by the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, when they brought back recently retired players Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny as mangers. If the Red Sox chose this route, candidate number one would be Jason Varitek. The two-time World Series champion catcher for the Red Sox has never suggested any interest in taking the positing, but he would be an exciting hire. Varitek was always a vocal leader in the Red Sox clubhouse, being a team captain. We would undoubtedly have the respect of the players and has an excellent baseball IQ. If Varitek is open to the idea, he will be someone to look for.
Another interesting scenario is the possibility of bringing back Terry Francona. The contracts of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford are gone, along with the strong personality of Josh Beckett. With the current roster and a flexible payroll, Francona could an opportunity to build teams like he did in 2004 and 2007. The core players who are with the team, mainly Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, have always had a strong relationship with their former manager. Tito would bring back the culture of Red Sox baseball that general manager Ben Cherington was referring to when making the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Valentine has not had a good season in Boston, but he is not solely to blame. He entered a situation that seemly could only be bad, unless he won a World Series. His departure seems inevitable at this point, but the Red Sox front office could allow Valentine more of a chance. If they do not, Farrell, Varitek, and Francona are among the possible candidates that could takeover in an attempt to right the ship in Boston.
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