Of Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine’s curious, possibly vengeful overuse (143 pitches in the last five days) of reliever Alfredo Aceves, WEEI.com’s Alex Speier writes, “what does that matter for a manager who is left to believe either that he will not be back next year or that, if he wins now, he has a shot at returning?” Of Valentine’s lame duck status, Speier opines, “it is impossible to imagine that the team doesn’t know what it wants to do with him…given that no one has been willing to discuss his role with the club beyond this year, dismiss him. End the uncomfortable, awkward middle in which Valentine seems like a man waiting to get whacked.” And that’s after providing damning testimony meant to indicate Valentine’s has well and truly given up.
On Friday, he showed up at the ballpark less than three hours before the first pitch — hours after a manager typically makes his way to the ballpark in order to guarantee his preparedness and ensure his availability to his players and coaches. On Saturday, he was asked about a Red Sox lineup that featured Scott Podsednik penciled into the third spot in the order for the first time in the veteran’s big league career.
“Just a mistake,” Valentine said in response to his deployment of Podsednik. “Is that what it says on the lineup? What the (expletive)? Switch it up. Who knows? Maybe it will look good. I haven’t seen it.”
And again on Saturday, when Valentine was asked about the fact that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia challenged baseball etiquette by breaking up a no-hitter in the fifth inning (of a 5-0 game) with a bunt single, Valentine’s response was not defense but rather dismissal.
“Who cares?” he told reporters.
Since you’d sorely need baserunners by any means necessary in the 5th inning while trailing 5-0, I’m less than outraged over Valentine’s reaction to Saltalamacchia bunting. Valentine was allegedly stuck in traffic Friday after picking up his son at SFO, though had something similar happened to Josh Beckett or Carl Crawford, few excuses would’ve been accepted by fans or a bloodthirsty media corps..