The future of Bobby Valentine as manager of the Red Sox seems limited. (Michael Dwyer / AP)

Bobby Valentine will conclude his first season as manager of the Boston Red Sox next Wednesday. It may also be his last.

General Manager Ben Cherington, while not addressing Valentine’s future with the team, gave an interesting answer to a question about the timing of a managerial change in an interview on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” show.

“I’d always rather get the decision right than rush it,” Cherington said (via the Boston Globe). “But what we know we need to do is hit the ground running this offseason. One of the things that, as I look back on last offseason, that didn’t go perfectly was simply the amount of time that we spent on the manager search and what that did to the rest of the offseason and I would like to spend less time on it this offseason, that’s for sure.”

The Red Sox, 69-87, played their last home game of the season Wednesday and lost, 4-2, to Tampa Bay. Valentine said he wasn’t thinking that he might have been about to manage his final game at Fenway Park.

“I don’t think so, no, not until you asked that,” Valentine told reporters. “And if this is my last day [at Fenway], I’d like to thank you all, or at least most of you, for your professionalism this year and your willingness to put up with all the stuff that goes on on a day-to-day basis and wish you all great health to you and your families. Enjoy.

“Because it is the last day this year.’’

Valentine, given a two-year contract after Terry Francona and the Red Sox parted last fall, said he hasn’t spoken with management, at least about his future. “No, there hasn’t been any dialogue. I mean, we’ve talked, but not about that. Which makes me think I’m coming back. I don’t know.’’

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