Aaaaaand ... that's a wrap: The Boston Red Sox made their firing of Bobby Valentine official on Thursday afternoon, axing the manager after a last-place 69-93 finish in the AL East. Valentine's one-year stewardship saw the Red Sox post their first losing season since 1997 and their worst overall record since they went 62-100 in 1965.
[Jeff Passan: Bobby Valentine fired after one last resounding loss | Slideshow]
As might have been expected, Bobby Valentine's parting words fit his Eddie Haskell-like public persona and ended with a line that made you question its sincerity.
"I understand this decision," said Valentine. "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."
Of course, it probably won't be a turnaround year at Fenway Park, not with GM Ben Cherington vowing to get back to Boston's basics and reset from the ground up. It also won't be as entertaining from a blog perspective with John Farrell or whoever running the show.
Yes, we here at Big League Stew would like to thank Bobby Valentine for keeping us busy in 2012, whether it was writing about his clubhouse beer ban, running Kevin Youkilis out of town, researching incorrect lineups on his cellphone, having chewing gum spit on him by an umpire, being the target of a clubhouse mutiny, threatening to punch a radio host in the mouth or crashing his bike while reading a text message from his second baseman.
I said many times at the beginning of the season that the grand Bobby Valentine experiment was going to be a colossal failure because there was no way bringing in the most divisive man in baseball was going to repair a clubhouse that was already fractured from the season before. I'm rarely this right, but there really wasn't any other way for this to end.
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