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Red Sox fire Bobby Valentine

The Boston Red Sox officially announced Bobby Valentine's dismissal on Thursday. The Red Sox finished in fifth place in his lone season at the helm, 26 games out of first with a 69-93 record.

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Red Sox fans happy about firing of Valentine

Bobby Valentine is no longer the manager of the Boston Red Sox, as the organization announced his firing Thursday afternoon. The news ends a short one-year tenure for Valentine, who managed the Red Sox to a disappointing 69-93 record, the club's worst since 1994.

From the beginning, Valentine seemingly didn't fit into the Red Sox culture and lost control of the clubhouse not far into the 2012 season. The former New York Mets and Texas Rangers manager did deal with multiple injuries to key players, however, SB Nation blog Over The Monster lays the blame on Valentine for overseeing one of the worst seasons in team history.

It's been Bobby Valentine throwing players and coaches alike under the bus. It's been Bobby Valentine making awful in-game decisions, particularly with his bullpen. It's been Bobby Valentine snapping at media members for daring to ask who was pitching over the weekend and then going further when they dared to wonder if perhaps his dismissive public attitude meant he had given up.

As is his modus operandi, Bobby Valentine became the center of attention in Boston. And, as has happened in the past, that only served to highlight his numerous failings.

Its unclear what the organization's next move will be, as there will need to be a lot of discussion about who can help rebuild a franchise that has put together back-to-back heartbreaking seasons. The good news is, the first step has been taken.

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Valentine, Cherington, Lucchino speak on firing

The Boston Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine on a baseball off day before the postseason begins, presumably mindful of Commissioner Bud Selig's edict that big stories like this not interfere with postseason play.

It was not done via press conference; instead, a team press release was issued announcing Valentine's dismissal. Included were quotes from team officials and Valentine.

Team president and CEO Larry Lucchino:

"This year’s won-loss record reflects a season of agony. It begs for changes, some of which have already transpired. More will come. We are determined to fix that which is broken and return the Red Sox to the level of success we have experienced over the past decade.

"Difficult as it is to judge a manager amid a season that had an epidemic of injuries, we feel we need to make changes. Bobby leaves the Red Sox’ manager’s office with our respect, gratitude, and affection. I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute to the game he loves so much and knows so well."

General manager Ben Cherington:

"Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons. No single issue is the reason, and no single individual is to blame. We’ve been making personnel changes since August, and we will continue to do so as we build a contending club. With an historic number of injuries, Bobby was dealt a difficult hand. He did the best he could under seriously adverse circumstances, and I am thankful to him."

And, Valentine:

"I understand this decision. This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation.

"It was a privilege to be part of the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches. My best to the organization. I’m sure next year will be a turnaround year."
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Who will replace Bobby Valentine?

Bobby Valentine was fired Thursday by the Boston Red Sox, becoming the second answer to a trivia question:

Naturally, this raises the question: who will be Boston's next manager? The obvious choice would be former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. Unfortunately for Boston, Farrell is under contract for 2013. Presumably, the Blue Jays would let him go -- for proper compensation; that became a contentious subject for the Red Sox when they asked for compensation a year ago to let GM Theo Epstein go to the Cubs.

Ryne Sandberg, the Hall of Fame Cubs second baseman, was interviewed by Theo Epstein two years ago for Boston's Triple-A managing spot. He was promoted from the Phillies' Triple-A managing job just today to be Philadelphia's third-base coach, but presumably the Phils would let him go if he were to get a major-league managing offer.

A year ago, the Red Sox interviewed a number of candidates before they hired Valentine, several of whom would presumably still want the job (even though the Red Sox are markedly worse than they were then): Gene Lamont, Pete Mackanin (who was just fired by the Phillies), Sandy Alomar Jr. (who is in the running for the Indians job), Blue Jays coach Torey Lovullo and Dale Sveum, who was ultimately hired by the Cubs. Tim Bogar, the current Boston bench coach, could also be considered.

And then there's Terry Francona, the proverbial elephant in the room. Would Cherington bring Francona back? Francona's also going to be interviewed in Cleveland. It would be an odd occurrence, bringing Francona back -- but Boston also had its greatest success in decades under him.

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Bobby Valentine reportedly on his way out

Of all the surprising things. Well, golly. Isn't this a fine how-do-you-do. Goodness gracious. Bobby Valentine is reportedly going to be out of work soon, with Jon Heyman getting the scoop:

The belief is Valentine's ouster will come either Thursday or Friday, though that isn't known. Some people believe the Red Sox will give Valentine the courtesy of a meeting, but several people said they don't believe there's any chance he would be able to change their minds, assuming he'd want to.

But things were going so well.

Valentine earlier made news when talking to WEEI in Boston on Wednesday, saying his coaches didn't have his back:

In his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI, Valentine responded to a question about whether the coaching staff and the people around him have been loyal with a simple, "No."

He was then asked if he felt like "some of these guys on the staff have undermined you at times." His answer to that question was a curt, "Yes."

So the abridged Valentimeline: Came in, banned beer in the clubhouse, chirped at Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, had a public blowhard-off with Curt Schilling, sparred with Kevin Youkilis after making questionable comments on the radio with his veteran, apologized, got into a scrum with Mike Aviles that everyone denied, benched Youkilis without talking with him, was the subject of a closed-door, player-led mutiny in July, admitted he was miserable, crashed on a bicycle while texting Dustin Pedroia, and said his coaches were back-stabbers.

Oh, he also screwed up his bullpen like the King Midas of screw. Among other things. Like leading the Red Sox to their worst season in decades.

Other than that, it's weird that they're letting him go with a year left on his contract.

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Could John Farrell Be Next Red Sox Manager?

Bobby Valentine is the manager of the Boston Red Sox. Of his 2012 travails, you know much.

John Farrell is the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. He used to be Boston’s pitching coach. The Red Sox attempted to hire him away from Toronto last year, but the teams could not agree on compensation.

The Red Sox might try to do this again, writes Nick Cafardo:

John Farrell was the Red Sox’ top choice to manage after they fired Terry Francona last October, and every indication this reporter has received from team and major league sources is that he will be their first choice to replace Bobby Valentine.

That seems to indicate Valentine is likely a goner, either before season’s end or soon after. But how could such a hiring take place, with Farrell under contract to Toronto through 2013? Cafardo has one suggestion:

It’s interesting that in the Dodgers deal, the Red Sox had to accept two “players to be named” in hard-throwing Rubby De La Rosa and outfielder Jerry Sands. De La Rosa had been claimed on waivers by the Jays and pulled back by the Dodgers; once a player is pulled back, he can’t be traded until the offseason.

The Jays would love to have someone like De La Rosa as compensation. But the Red Sox see him as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter and likely would not part with him as compensation.

So maybe it’s not quite that simple. The Red Sox and Blue Jays face each other at Fenway this weekend. Could Farrell be in the other dugout by next season? Stranger things have happened.

For more on the Red Sox, please visit Over The Monster and SB Nation Boston.

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Bobby Valentine Blows Up In Radio Interview

Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine isn't in Chiba City anymore. He's in Boston, and in Boston, people like to light their hair on fire and run around in the middle of the street when it comes to something wrong with their sports team.

The newest disturbance is ... spins the wheel ... Valentine showing up late for a game because his son's flight was delayed. Well.

In a candid interview with WEEI, Valentine compared his start times with those of Rays' manager Joe Maddon, suggesting that one man's "late" is another's "on-time.", and that his time in Boston has been miserable:

Regret returning (to managing)? No, life is a journey ... you learn from misery ... It's been miserable! But a part of my life's experience.

He also had some choice words for an unnamed breakfast place in Seattle:

John Henry's ham was overcooked.

And he called the Oakland Coliseum "stupid", which, well, yeah. Most of the buzz around the interview will have to do with Gleen Ordway asking Valentine if he'd checked out, and Valentine responding with ...

What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there right now, I'd punch you right in the mouth.

The interview ended cordially, though. It was an extremely candid and animated interview, especially by today's standards. You can listen to the full interview here.

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Who Should Manage The Boston Red Sox In 2013?

Bobby Valentine has had a miserable first year as Red Sox manager, and it's possible he could get dumped at season's end. Should he be? If so, who should replace him?

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Bobby Valentine Not Being Fired By Red Sox Executives In Seattle

Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and owner John Henry will be with the team in Seattle, but both have denied that they're preparing to fire manager Bobby Valentine.

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John Henry: Nobody Wanted Valentine Out

Is there any baseball owner who gives us more than John Henry? Between that spot-on impression of himself Moneyball: The Movie! to Bill James getting two World Series rings to the many radio appearances and public e-mail messages about the team, Henry's the gift who just keeps on giving.

So of course he had to respond to Jeff Passan's story on Yahoo!!! yesterday, about a late-July meeting in New York in which a number of Red Sox players -- 17, they say! -- presumably spent a fair amount of time complaining about ... well, about something. According to Henry, though, it wasn't really about Bobby Valentine ...

We held three meetings in New York – separating groups so as to have frank discussions about what was wrong.

"What Tom, Larry and I heard in the player meeting was one overriding sentiment. Players felt responsible for the record. They weren't blaming injuries or anyone but themselves. At the same time they openly spoke about what could improve in addition to their play. They made substantive points. We addressed those points. No one in that meeting at any time took the position that Bobby should be or needed to be replaced.

According to Henry, there was a similar meeting held in 2004 ... and of course, the Red Sox wound up winning the 2004 World Series. I'm on a train so I can't check, but that meeting might be detailed in one of the many books written about that season. And I'm wondering if one of the results of that meeting was the eventual trading of Nomar Garciaparra, which a lot of people thought transformed the club's chemistry and helped lead to the championship.

This time around, we've seen no such radical change. Players have come up and gone down, based on the obvious exigencies of the moment. But there's been no obvious move to change the atmosphere. Maybe that's coming, still.

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