Bobby Valentine is not the Boston Red Sox’s manager, but that isn’t stopping him from making questionable comments about the team.
In an interview, Valentine related Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz quit on the team this year.
Valentine announced, “David Ortiz came back after spending about 6 weeks on the DL and we thought that it was only going to be a week. He got 2 hits the first 2 times up, drove in a pair runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that this trade meant that we’re not going to run this race and we are not even going to complete the race properly and he opted not to play any longer. I believe at that time it was all downhill from there.”
The trade Valentine referred to was the August 25 move that sent 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett, left fielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in return for 1st baseman James Loney and 4 minor-leaguers.
Ortiz had been out for a month with a strained right Achilles tendon before he came back to action August 24. He was re-injured in that game and missed what’s left of the season.
“It’s unfortunate that Bobby would be putting blame on David for the way this season has ended,” declared Fernando Cuza, Ortiz’s agent. “Nothing could be farther from the facts. David was having his best season since 2007 and has been one of the most durable players in the game. Based primarily on the advice of the team doctor and his own doctor, resting and therapy was recommended for a complete recovery from this injury.
The double irony of the timing of Valentine’s comments: They took place on the moment when the Red Sox introduced John Farrell as the new manager, and on a day when the team was reportedly close to reaching a 2 year contract agreement with Ortiz, a potential free agent.
Boston wound up with a 69-93 record, the team’s worst mark since 1965, and Valentine was fired right after the season ended.
Despite playing just 90 games, Ortiz still ranked 2nd on the team with 23 homers, tied for 4th with 60 RBI and 1st with a 1.026 on-base-plus slugging percentage, his best since 2007. And before the season finale, GM Ben Cherington said it’s a “priority” to re-sign Ortiz in the offseason. NFL scores
Valentine’s one year reign in Boston was marked by critical remarks about players and coaches that didn’t sit well inside or outside the clubhouse. He continued to fire at his coaching staff in the interview.
“I should have … made sure that the coaches were going to be the guys that were my guys,” he said. “You know what coaches are?
They’re your communication line. Your attitude filters down to the players thru the coaches and their perspectives, their questions, their kinds of stress filters up thru the coaches. I think we had some snags, the lines weren’t flowing the way they should have.”