September 11, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine (25) talks with starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) during the third inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
Say it isn't so, Jerry.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he's back," Remy said, adding: "It's just a hunch. I have no insight at all. I have no idea what the front office is thinking. I just have a hunch that maybe they're going to say, 'Let's give this guy a clean slate, let's give him a full deck to work with and let's see what happens.' Because the guy is a very good on-the-field manager, there's no question about that. And I think that as time has gone on through this disaster, he has built some relationships with players in that clubhouse.
As much as Remy tries to make it clear that this is based on no insider information, it unfortunately cannot be completely dismissed. Remy, after all, is around the club all the time. If there's anyone semi-independent (NESN is, after all, owned by FSG) who would be able to pick up on these sorts of things--not the leanings of the ownership, but the opinions of players and the clubhouse--Remy might be that guy.
The idea is, of course, completely terrifying. All due respect to Remy, but Bobby is not a very good on-the-field manager. Unless we mean very specifically on-the-field, like when he goes out to the mound and starts shouting at starting pitchers. Because when he's in the dugout, he's a complete disaster. Late to the pen, often wrong in his decisions when he goes there, weird lineup construction...We've been through it all before. Interestingly, the last couple weeks make me think he might be able to do a decent job with a small-ball team, but small-ball is what bad teams use to hide their shallow lineups, and so not what the Sox should be after in the first place.
Still, even if Remy is right about Bobby V. forming relationships with players, even if he's the sort of guy who is more suited to a younger team like the Sox will likely have in 2013, I just can't see this happening. Is there any way this ownership could actually be so tone deaf? Fair or not, Valentine has become the face of this terrible 2012 team, and it's a role he's managed to make worse than it already was with his recent interactions with the media.
The bandwagon is already on the verge of falling apart. Casual fans have stopped flooding the park, leaving the vast swathes of empty seats more and more apparent with every game, even while the team continues to infuriate the diehards by bragging about a manipulated sellout streak as Fenway burns. All this, of course, due to a three year period without playoff baseball, infuriating for the casual and diehard fans alike. If they keep Bobby Valentine, they may as well distribute the pitchforks themselves.
The good news is that ownership does not seem to be oblivious to the hatred and outrage directed at Bobby Valentine. They've backed off their support of him noticeably, and if he's still with the team now, it's not necessarily a sign of approval so much as convenience. All signs point to Bobby V. being gone, whether Remy is right about the atmosphere or not.