Bobby Valentine’s dream job turned into a 93-loss nightmare during his first season as manager of the Boston Red Sox. Now it’s over.
After six weeks of questions regarding his future, Valentine got the answer everyone was expecting Thursday when the Red Sox fired him.
General manager Ben Cherington promised a swift resolution to the Valentine situation, and he remained true to his word. The team made the announcement within 24 hours of the season’s final out at Yankee Stadium.
“No single issue is the reason, and no single individual is to blame,” Cherington said in a statement. “With a 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.”
As manager, Valentine was held responsible. But as Cherington pointed out, the Red Sox had plenty of other issues. That included a roster always in flux — they used 56 players this season, the most in team history — and also chose to begin their rebuilding process in late August by shipping Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett, along with $260 million in salary, to the Los Angeles Dodgers for James Loney and prospects.
Jettisoning Gonzalez and Beckett, who reportedly were two of Valentine’s more prominent enemies, at first seemed to be a vote of confidence for the manager. But the Red Sox went 9-27 after the megadeal, a spectacular flop that sealed Valentine’s fate. At 69-93, the franchise suffered its first 90-loss season since 1966.
“I understand this decision,” Valentine said in a statement released by the team. “This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation. … I’m sure next year will be a turnaround year.”
The Philadelphia Phillies promoted Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg to their coaching staff as third base coach and infield instructor. The Spokane native spent the past two seasons managing Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez won the 2012 Warren Spahn Award – given to the majors’ top left-handed pitcher – on a tiebreaker over Tampa Bay’s David Price.
A tie resulted after applying a formula based on wins, strikeouts and ERA. The tiebreaker of most wins went to Gonzalez, 21-20.
Baseball’s average attendance rose 1.8 percent this year to its highest level since 2008 – an average of 30,895 fans per game. … Offense increased slightly this season after five consecutive years of drops – to 8.65 runs per game, up from 8.57 – while strikeouts set a record (14.99 per game) and walks dropped to their lowest level since 1968 (6.05). … The Twins fired five coaches and their head trainer in the wake of a second straight last-place finish in the AL Central. … The Royals chose not to renew the contract of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer after the team finished 72-90 for its ninth consecutive losing season. … The Red Sox got right-hander Rubby De La Rosa and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands from the Dodgers to complete the teams’ Aug. 25 trade.