Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine (25) prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
This morning, we took a look at John Tomase of the Boston Herald's discussion of why Bobby Valentine should be fired -- and now -- from the Red Sox. (A viewpoint that, as of this writing, 48 percent of you support.) Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe disagrees, and today published an article headline, "Firing Bobby Valentine won't fix the Red Sox."
Abraham's main point is that this organization already fired one manager for this group of players, and that didn't work out for them. To be fair, he doesn't go on to say that it's because the team is ruled by a bunch of petulant brats who wil never be happy, but instead focuses on the injuries to so many players, as well as the good ideas that Valentine has been a part of. In short, plenty has gone wrong with this team, and it isn't necessarily Valentine's fault.
Overall, it's a convincing effort if you're on the fence about what to do (or not do) with Valentine, but there are some problems with it. First, Abraham acts as if, because the Red Sox haven't made the playoffs since 2009, that the team has failed to be any good at all over the course of the last three years. The 2010 team, despite leading the league in DL trips, won 89 games and was in the Wild Card race much later than they deserved to be, while the 2011 club won 90 contests in spite of a historic September collapse that kept them from a playoff berth. That's not to excuse the club for missing the playoffs -- that's an entirely different discussion -- but to say that they've won 179 games the last two years, and even a .500 record in 2012 would put them at a .534 winning percentage over a tough three-year stretch. Playoff-caliber? Maybe not. Saying, "Your team is not good and hasn't been for a while" doesn't make much sense given what's actually played out, though.
That doesn't take away from the overall value of Abraham's points here. Valentine wanted Franklin Morales to start. He didn't injure all of these players, and the training staff is in charge of deciding who rests and who plays when it comes to injuries. He's been a huge proponent of Will Middlebrooks from the start, and is currently trying to keep Ryan Lavarnway in the majors.
Then again, just to play devil's advocate, who's to say that another manager wouldn't have seen some of the same things -- i.e., that Will Middlebrooks is good, Kevin Youkilis is prone to injury, and Franklin Morales doesn't look like he did back in Colorado -- and gone ahead with the exact same plans, without the rumored associated drama? Not to take anything away from Valentine's positive contributions, but none of them have been "Eureka!" moves, as much as they've been the kind of things that even some of us here -- community or author -- have been hoping would happen.
This is a case where we honestly just don't know what's going on, exactly why the earlier Tomase bit received so many "if true" caveats sprinkled throughout.
Does Abraham's article today sway you in one direction or another? Is it a convincing argument to keep Valentine?Is it picking out the good and skating around the bad, or has Valentine really been that positive of a contributor in 2012?