Bobby Valentine questions Red Sox coaches’ loyalty as his tenure seemingly nears an end

October 4, 2012

Did Bobby Valentine manage his last game in Boston on Wednesday night? (Frank Franklin II / AP)

It’s been a rocky week for Bobby Valentine. Heck, it’s been a rocky season for Bobby Valentine.

The Boston Red Sox manager found that texting and cycling do not mix. He’s been on the hot seat since about midway through the season and on Wednesday he gave an odd WEEI interview — odd even by Valentinian standards — in which he questioned the loyalty of some of his coaches.

“I thought I had just a feeling. I don’t have any facts, just a feeling once in a while we weren’t all on the same page,” he told reporters later (via the Boston Globe). Not that he thought that had a significant role in the team’s 69-93 season. It’s expected to be Valentine’s only season in Boston. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com reports that Valentine can expect to be fired, as soon as today or Friday.

Valentine declined to name the coaches. Nor could he recall a specific incident. “No, no, no,” he said. “There are situations during the year where I didn’t think it was all for one or one for all, or whatever it is.”

Communication between Valentine and his coaches, including bench coach Tim Bogar and then-pitching coach Bob McClure, was an issue detailed in a Globe story in August. In addition, Valentine, according to the Globe, has “almost no relationship with bullpen coach Gary Tuck.” Bogar, Tuck and batting coach Dave Magadan were holdovers from Terry Francona’s staff. Valentine was brought on late in the hiring season, in late November, and had few other options.

“Typical,” one coach, who requested anonymity, told ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes. Players, the source said, were more comfortable talking with coaches they knew than with Valentine. “I am me,” Tuck said. “I do my job. I work with the catchers, I run the bullpen. That’s what I do. That’s what I was hired to do, and that’s what I do for a living.”

Less than a year ago, Valentine called working for the Red Sox his “dream job.” Now, well, there’s the loud tick, tick, tick of a clock. General Manager Ben Cherington gave him the dreaded “Bobby’s the manager in 2012″ vote of confidence Wednesday. Notice that he didn’t mention 2013.

“I’m waiting to hear,” Valentine said, when asked if he’d return for the second year of his contract. “It’s bothered me the last six weeks that I’ve been asked that question without [having] an answer.”

It hasn’t worked out well — and his time in Boston may be ending — but he said he has no regrets. “No. It’s a great life experience. That’s what life is. It wasn’t always an enjoyable experience, but it’s been great,” Valentine said. “I’ll look back on it and I’m sure I’ve learned from it.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · October 4, 2012