October 4, 2012

On The Calendar

Bobby "Waiting To Be Fired" Valentine thinks the Red Sox's penchant for medical secrecy is "stupid" and feels he was undermined by his own coaches all year long. (audio; partial transcript)

OtM: What is really stupid is letting Dustin Pedroia play two games with a broken finger.

WEEI's Alex Speier asks: "Was This The Worst Red Sox Rotation Ever?"

Joe Posnanski reflects on Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, the Triple Crown, WAR, and the AL MVP.

Grantland's Charles Pierce says he enjoyed this season, as it brought back pleasant memories of 1965:
There has been something peaceable for me about the way the Red Sox have disincorporated this season — the long, messy, slow dissolve into outright rancor and mutiny, and then the almost completely irrelevant endgame over the past two months, in which we saw various mystery guests don the uniform while everyone waited for Bobby Valentine to show up one day to find all the locks changed. This was the way it was in my childhood. These were the kind of days that brought me back to my youth, the way all the baseball propagandists say the game is supposed to do. These were my Red Sox — overpaid and underachieving backbiters who ended up as comic relief. This was the Fenway Park of my youth — a rancid snake pit of venomous egos, and not a theme park.


FenFan said...

OtM: What is really stupid is letting Dustin Pedroia play two games with a broken finger

Apparently when you have nothing to lose, you allow this to happen. Worse is that the front office did nothing to "protect its investment," apparently because they didn't have the balls to fire BV before the end of the season.

laura k said...

Another great cartoon from James M.

Not firing BV before the end of the season might not be a question of fortitude (or testicles). It could also be "why bother". The season is shot, why go through the issues of having an interim manager. Might as well wait, show the world (fans) how lame he is, then start fresh.

FenFan said...

Yeah, I hesitated to use "balls" in my response but I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. :-)

Your logic is sound, but again it possibly comes at a price of seeing one of your better players hurt. I'm never one to side with the front office on clubhouse matters but this seemed like the appropriate time for Cherington to say: "Bobby, as your employer, please do the following..."

laura k said...

FenFan, I agree. Especially since said employee is living on borrowed time.

wardo said...

I saw some of last night's game, and what kept going through my head is how much I like some of the guys on the team. Elsberry, Pedroia, Buchholz, Lavarnway, Nava, Saltalamacchia... Whatever happens with management, I want those guys starting in April.

Nick Sincere said...

Charles Pierce is spot on, these are the Red Sox of the old days, the days all the "purists" long far. Ha ha. Just like when I was a kid, except we're not allowed to storm the field after a big win.

Jim said...

Re: the AL MVP, my preference lies with a Nick Cafardo-type argument (although I've not seen him make it)--Trout should win because he just looks like a ballplayer. He really does.

Maxwell Horse said...

Time for a long-winded, obnoxious and poison-filled post about Valentine: A couple months ago I fell into the camp of, "Even though Valentine isn't the ideal manager, I kind of feel sorry for him."

I've since come around to the conclusion that he's pretty much a manipulative asshole. It was around the time of the WEEI interview when he made the "joke" of wanting to punch Glenn Ordway in the face. Not that I thought it was a serious threat. And I kind of want to punch Ordway myself. But that was about the time that it seemed like the general public--insanely--REALLY started to see Valentine as a victim.

It was crazy. At a time when Valentine's performance as a manager and his behavior got crappier and more insane, the public seemed to become more and more sympathetic.

'Who cares if Valentine managed his bullpen incompetently! Remember when Pedroia said that one time, "That's not the way we do things around here?" That means nothing is Valentine's fault ... Who cares if Valentine seems to not have the respect of ANYONE in the organization, including coaches? That one time Pedroia said, "That's not the way we do things around here," makes it all okay.'

Narcissist that he is--always guaging and observing the reactions he gets to his daily performances on the stage he calls life--Valentine must have noticed the outpouring of sympathy that WEEI interview of misplaced defensiveness got him. (Being upset about Ordway questioning his dedication to his family, when Ordway never even brought the subject up. And he was *really* offended that they'd bring up what was already apparent to everyone--the idea that maybe Valentine had checked out on the season. You NEVER question a man's committment to the game. That's crossing a line--unless you're Valentine talking publicly about Youkilis; then it's okay.) Anyway, in his interviews since the "punch threat" one, Valentine REALLY laid it on thick.

laura k said...

Time for a long-winded, obnoxious and poison-filled post about Valentine:

It's always time! And this is a good one.

But how does Bobby V feel about digital media?

Maxwell Horse said...

(cont) The WEEI interviewers--at least later in the season when things always felt potentially volatile--seemed to take extra care to be tactful (relatively speaking), but Valentine would inevitably act absolutely offended. It didn't matter the subject or the way the questions were broached; at multiple points in an interview, he'd act like they'd called him a racial slur or killed his grandmother. He'd act like his mind was blown that the interviewers would cross this line and that, and then he'd hang up in a righteous huff.

And it always seemed to work. The fans (or subesequent WEEI callers) always took the bait.

I think the thing was--the fans already hated the players so much that they were predisposed towards taking Valentine's side in everything. And because Valentine is so convincing acting righteously offended (even if his reaction is ludicrous compared to what he's responding to), some people just assumed that he was being persecuted and took his side.

It's the old public debate paradigm. (Which is why I hate both politics and high school debate class.) The public tends not to actually think through the logic of what speakers say, just the "performances" they give. If they act steadfast and unperturbed, then that person is a "leader." Conversely, in such forums, it's usually risky to play the "victim," because that can come across as weak. But as I said, Valentine seems to be a master of being righteously indignant, so he pulls it off to great effect.

So these days I find myself in the crazy situation where I'm agreeing with the WEEI hosts. (They're always out for blood, but in this case, I think their target-of-the-day deserves the bullseye on his chest. Blind squirrels, etc.) The argument Valentine's defenders keep using about how Valentine should stay because the players are "overpaid primadonnas" is illogical in my opinion. One has nothing to do with the other.

All year we've heard about how Valentine has alienated EVERYONE in the organization. Not just the "whiny, crybaby" players, but also the coaches who apparently are also whiny crybabies. At a certain point--and also considering Valentine's history and reputation--maybe it's time we look at this fact that he doesn't seem to be able to get along with anyone and possibly attribute it to--oh, I don't know--Valentine himself?

That seems a lot more reasonable to me than acting like a paranoid McCarthy-era G-man, always looking for communists. "Adrian and Beckett are traitors! That's why there's turmoil in the clubhouse. So let's trade them. .... Oh-oh, the team is still not getting along. It must be because of Iglesias and Dice-K! They've ALWAYS hated Valentine, and they're losing on purpose to get Valentine fired!"

I could go on, but I'm sure people already want to strangle me.

Maxwell Horse said...

"But how does Bobby V feel about digital media?"

If he hates it, then I take back everything I just said about him.

FenFan said...

He gone... Bobby V is no longer the Red Sox manager.

laura k said...

At last, the silver lining.