And with that, the Bobby Valentine era is over. (Kathy Willens / AP)

After one tumultuous and occasionally downright weird season, Bobby Valentine has been fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox.

The team announced the firing today, after the Red Sox completed a 69-93 season that was the team’s worst since 1966 and was, as Red Sox president Larry Lucchino put it, “a season of agony.” The move is only the beginning for the team, which unloaded high-priced players this summer and used 56 players — most in the team’s history — this season.

“Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons,” General Manager Ben Cherington said. “No single issue is the reason, and no single individual is to blame. We’ve been making personnel changes since August, and we will continue to do so as we build a contending club. With an historic number of injuries, Bobby was dealt a difficult hand. He did the best he could under seriously adverse circumstances, and I am thankful to him.”

Valentine was a late hire, joining the Red Sox last November and speculation at the time had it that he was not Cherington’s first choice. Recently, Cherington, completing his first year as GM, tipped his hand, saying that a managerial search would be done differently — while Valentine was still on the job. Now, the team will move on to its third manager in three years.

“This year’s won-loss record reflects a season of agony,” Lucchino said. “It begs for changes, some of which have already transpired. More will come. We are determined to fix that which is broken and return the Red Sox to the level of success we have experienced over the past decade.

“Difficult as it is to judge a manager amid a season that had an epidemic of injuries, we feel we need to make changes. Bobby leaves the Red Sox manager’s office with our respect, gratitude, and affection. I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute to the game he loves so much and knows so well.”

This was a fairly predictable denouement, for those who’ve followed Valentine’s career (as Reader Dem4life1 put it when Valentine was hired, “As a Yankee fan I love this hire”). Deadspin succinctly chronicles the “7 Stages of a Bobby Valentine Meltdown;” he’s presently at step 5, with “Trashes his former boss” and “Claims he’s not over the break-up” to follow.

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