Dear Mr. Cherington:
Far be it from me to tell you how to do your job, sir. However as a lifelong baseball fan, twenty five-plus year fantasy owner, and intense follower of the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry I must make a plea to relieve Bobby Valentine from his current managerial duties.
I have seen the looks before - the inner tensions created by public criticism of players by a manager, the low hanging heads of beaten teammates, and the embarrassing home losses. This team has clearly quit on manager Bobby Valentine.
It's time to cut your losses, sir. Find another role for Bobby Valentine in your organization if you must. Either way, do not let your team tear itself apart from the inside out.
The evidence in addition to your team's 4-8 start?
It all started back in October of last year when your designated hitter, David Ortiz, issued a stern warning. As reported by ESPN, Ortiz proclaimed, "There's too much drama. I have been thinking about a lot of things. I don't know if I want to be part of this drama for next year."
This should have been a precursor to the organizations next steps. Like him or not, Ortiz realized something the Red Sox brass didn't - more controversy would not sit well with this team's locker room. Back in October Ortiz was doing you a favor.
Nonetheless, Valentine was interviewed and hired in November.
Have you seen Ortiz smile very much this year?
When spring started, your manager couldn't help himself when commenting on the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. New to the wars he should have simply proclaimed how he looked forward to it. But this is Bobby V's world. Despite his newness to the organization he scorned the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter publicly. No matter what the internal feelings of Theo Epstein and Terry Francona were to New York they always knew their place in the history between the two teams. Valentine has thus far treated the rivalry like a punchline to his own private joke. Francona managed the rivalry like a smooth criminal. He could take you down, smile, and leave you not feeling violated. Valentine only makes his opponents grit their teeth in the hopes of later embarrassing him.
My final piece of evidence (mustache incident while he managed the New York Mets aside) was his very public attack of Kevin Youkilis. "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But [on Saturday] it seemed, you know, he's seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he'll move on from there." Translation - 'Youk has been dogging it.'
Can you imagine Joe Torre saying this about Paul O'Neill? What about Tommy Lasorda addressing Kirk Gibson this way?
It was up to Dustin Pedroia to come save the day. "I don't really understand what Bobby's trying to do. But that's really not the way we go about our stuff here. I'm sure he'll figure that out soon. We've got Youk's back. He's played his [butt] off for us for a long time …"
I suppose I could go on and question his strategy as well (David Ortiz's attempt to steal of second in a loss to the Blue Jays, your best option of closing, Daniel Bard, starting games, etc.) but that would be futile. I simply ask that you set your team, its fans, and, yes, fantasy owners free. Cut your losses now.
It's time for you, Mr. Cherington, to respect Boston's interests as well. Even at this early stage of the season, it's time to meet with the organization's leadership, admit the mistake, and say goodbye to Bobby V.
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A native New Yorker until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Yankees fan and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bobby Valentine
- David Ortiz