According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine won't be able to call himself that for much longer, as the team plans to fire him "soon" after the season ends. General manager Ben Cherington offered "no comment" in response to Heyman, but you're probably safe in considering this one of baseball's worst-kept secrets, and Valentine's firing imminent.
In a move that will be seen as anticlimactic at this point, Red Sox upper management intends to remove Bobby Valentine as manager soon after the season ends, people familiar with the situation say.
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.
It's not official yet, but "either Thursday or Friday" is not just "soon" after the season ends, but as soon as you can get without firing him on his walk back to the clubhouse following the results of Wednesday's contest.
Cherington had recently said that the Red Sox wanted to move quickly with the managerial process this off-season, the best clue to that point that yes, Bobby Valentine would be removed from his position this winter. The next day, Cherington clarified by saying he just meant the managerial situation as a whole should take less time, because it took so long the year before. While true, it's convenient Cherington let that one slip on the radio the day after Valentine told reporters that he expected to be retained, solely because no one had told him he was fired yet.
Valentine still has a year on his contract, which the Red Sox will have to pay him for. We'll have to see if Cherington gets to recommend and select his own manager this time around, or if those above him in ownership are going to have more of a say.
This might make some of you wary of Tim Bogar, but maybe it'll just make a few of you enjoy him more:
A source said Valentine has believed that bench coach Tim Bogar, in particular, has been working against him. Valentine further acknowledged on the radio interview that it is his job to "work through it," and "make it all functional."
Is Bogar angling for his own turn as manager? Or does Bobby V just rub his coaches the wrong way? Maybe both!
As we've pointed out in this space before, Valentine certainly wasn't the primary issue with the Red Sox. But it was clear from almost the start that this relationship wasn't going to work out, once Valentine and the players actually came into contact, with both parties seemingly regretting that occurrence. He might not have been the primary issue, but it doesn't seem as if he was the guy to fix things, either.