Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fire Bobby Valentine Now

If Bobby Valentine is the manager of the 2013 Red Sox, I think we'll all be stunned. For a few weeks, I didn't mind that he was sticking around. What's the difference between that and a bench coach serving as interim manager?

But Bobby Valentine is doing harm to this team. His pinch-hitting of Jose Iglesias is my Exhibit A. He pinch hits for a young AAA guy with a 2-2 count because there's a man who just stole second. And in the process, he jeopardizes a prospect's confidence, doesn't do much to win the game, and magnifies his own ego issues.

The reason the Mets dropped Valentine is that he tries too hard to impact the game. He can't just sit back, do his job, and manage. He tries to do more than that. He tries to have an effect on every single aspect of the game, the team, the organization.

He tried to provoke responses with statements to media (See: remarks about Kevin Youkilis). He tries to get youngsters motivated by putting them down (See: remarks to Will Middlebrooks). He tries to boost pitchers' self-esteem by leaving them in games. He's always trying, always failing, always reaching beyond his job description. He's not a psychologist, not a self-esteem guru, he's a friggin' baseball manager.

Bobby Valentine feels like it's his responsibility to do everything. He feels like the role of manager is the most important job on a baseball club.

It isn't.

Managers are supposed to manage. They're supposed to move players in and out of games. They're supposed to manage egos and expectations. They balance, they don't control. They're supposed to let pitchers pitch, hitters hit, and fielders field. They're not supposed to take players out of 2-2 at-bats.

Valentine is a shitty manager. There's no other way to phrase it. Every day he manages this team, he does harm to it. He infects it with his egomania, which is a mask for his lack of self-esteem.

Bobby Valentine is a psychological mess. He has Oedipal issues with his father. He's what I call an Insertive Personality, in that he feels the need to insert himself in any situation. He can't just sit back and let others do their job and succeed without his own influence. He pushes, far too much.

Most of all, Bobby Valentine is scared. He was scared of Pedroia back in April, he's scared of failure, he's scared of disappointing his father, he's scared of looking in the mirror and seeing Bobby Valentine.

Fire him and send him to a shrink.

My Favorite Brick at Fenway Park

A friend sent me this picture he took of a brick at Fenway Park. I would pay good money for this piece of masonry.

Patriots Sign Deion Branch... Again

This is perhaps the least surprising sports story in New England history. Even after releasing him, the Patriots never removed Branch's nameplate from the locker room. You never heard any rumblings that he might end up elsewhere. And with the injury to Aaron Hernandez, the Pats could use another reliable receiving weapon. There was no way that this wouldn't happen.

They also signed Kellen Winslow Jr. Winslow had worked out with the Patriots before the start of the season. I remember WEEI's Lou Merloni being baffled that the Pats would work out multiple tight-ends (they also worked out then signed Michael Hoomananawanui), if they didn't intend to sign them. This is why, Lou... just in case.

What will the offense look like without Hernandez and with Branch and Winslow?

Branch has always been one of Brady's most reliable, must-have-down targets for Brady. When it's 3rd and 7, Branch will get 8. He's older, but he can still play a situational role on the offense, which should take some pressure off Brandon Lloyd.

The Patriots can't just replace Hernandez's type of production. Winslow will get some passes thrown to him, but Hernandez was practically a wide-receiver. Branch will get some throws, Welker will get more attention, and the whole offense will have to change while Hernandez is out.

It's always good after both a loss and an injury to a key player to get a nice bit of news. I'm glad to see Branch back.

Red Sox on a Mission for .500

The Red Sox need to win every single game in order to avoid their first sub-.500 finish since 1997. And they're on their way. Only 13 more wins to go.

Felix Doubront went 6 innings and only 1 hit. He also allowed 5 walks. But it's good to see him get another win, and maybe end 2012 on a positive note. Doubront and Clay Buchholz are now tied for the team lead with 11 wins. Which speaks volumes about the struggles of the Sox rotation.

I wouldn't mind Doubront as a #5 pitcher in a future rotation, so long as the 1-4 pitchers were actually 1-4 pitchers. This team is loaded with #4 and #5 pitchers, and that's one reason they'll need a 15 game win streak in order to finish 81-81.

Cody Ross had a pair of hits, including his 32nd double. It'd be nice to see him back with this team next season.

There's nothing about this team you can't enjoy by watching any garden variety reality TV show. A reality TV show that lasts over 4 hours.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo