Sports Opinion & Analysis

Boston Red Sox Offseason To-Do List

In MLB on September 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

With the end of the MLB regular season less than three weeks away, there are more than a few teams who will look back at the year with disappointment and regret.

“There’s no crying in baseball!”

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who still might not make the playoffs after making the biggest blockbuster trade in the history of the league.

The New York Yankees, who blew a ten game lead to a team who hasn’t had a winning season since 1993. 

The Arizona Diamondbacks, who suffered injuries and under-performance, and failed to live up to the expectations of 2011.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who acquired Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, yet are 4.5 games behind the Oakland A’s (a team whose payroll is roughly $100 million dollars less than the Angels) for the last AL Wildcard spot.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who imploded under the weight of big contracts and egos. 

The Detroit Tigers, who like the D’backs, also failed to live up to expectations. 

The Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins, simply for being the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. 

And lastly, any team who didn’t have a player suspended for PED’s, yet have to watch the San Francisco Giants and A’s play in October. 

There are a lot of teams who will look back at 2012 with heartache and sadness, anger and frustration, but none of them will have more heartache, and feel more sadness, anger and frustration, than the Red Sox of Boston.

“I wonder if anyone wants to go out for KFC…”

After suffering one of the biggest meltdowns in the history of Major League Baseball last season, the Red Sox fired Terry Francona, the skipper who broke The Curse of the Bambino, and replaced him with Bobby Valentine, a man few thought would be successful in the position (know what I’m saying, Curt Schilling?).

Valentine was doomed to failure as the manager of the Red Sox from the beginning. First, the club’s management was torn about hiring him from the get go. Second, the players were still pining away for the last guy they got fired. Third, because Valentine’s managerial style was completely opposite of Francona’s, Valentine was never able to fully embrace his style of coaching, and consequently was never able to sell his vision to any of his players.

It didn’t help that Valentine also kept digging his grave with his constant misspeaks and gaffes.

This isn’t to say all of the troubles befalling Boston can be pointed to the hiring of Bobby V. The players themselves are just as, if not more responsible for how 2012 turned out as anybody. They vastly underperformed. They refused to change their ways. They refused to play like professionals.

Yet, for all the problems facing the players and the franchise, there are three simple solutions the Red Sox can take in the offseason, to begin the rebuilding process and turn this ship around.

1. Fire Bobby Valentine

“Please do what I say.”

While Valentine has had a successful major league managerial career, he will not find success in Boston. Unless Lou Luchino (The Red Sox’s President and CEO) plans on trading away the entire roster, top-to-bottom (going so far as to rehire new beer and hotdog sellers, as well as Fenway parking lot attendants), Valentine has lost the clubhouse. He will not be able to pull any player from the current roster to his side, and therefore has to go.

2. Fire Bobby Valentine

“And so now you agree with Curt that you weren’t the right man for the job…?”

Curt Schilling was right; Bobby V wasn’t ever going to work in Boston. With the roster the way it was built, the team just wasn’t going to easily transition from Francona’s laid back, beer guzzling, fried chicken eating ways, to Valentine’s strict regime. Instead, the team need to look at other guys who are somewhat like Francona, yet bring a new voice of leadership to a team longing for someone they can believe in.

Bob Brenly did the same magic for Arizona over a decade ago, after he replaced the strict rule of Buck Showalter. Currently, all Brenly’s up to is sitting in the announcer both in Chicago. Trying to jumpstart the Red Sox couldn’t be worse than having to watch the Cubs play everyday, could it?

I didn’t think so.

3. Fire Bobby Valentine

“It’s not you, Bobby, it’s me. Specifically, it’s me hating you.”

Everyone knows Dustin Pedrioa leads this team. He’s already led a mutiny against his manager, and as long as he plays in Boston, no’s ever going to listen to anything Valentine will ever say. While the players are in the wrong for not giving Valentine a fair shake at his job, it’s time for the club to find a man the team can respect.


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