After just one season as their manager, the Red Sox have fired Bobby Valentine.
Boston finished the 2012 MLB season in last place in the American League East at 69-93. It’s the team’s worst record since 1965.
When he heard the news, Valentine said he understood the organization’s decision.
“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,” Valentine said in a press release. “It was a privilege to be part of the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches. My best to the organization. I’m sure next year will be a turnaround year.”
The Red Sox greatly underachieved, beginning the year as one of the favorites to win the World Series. However, he wasn’t given much time to win, being terminated after just one season.
Did the Red Sox make the right decision in firing Valentine?
From day one, there were questions about how long Valentine would last in Boston. There were rumors that general manager Ben Cherington didn’t want to hire him, and he was forced into the decision by ownership.
Valentine wasn’t able to choose his own coaching staff, something unheard of for newly hired managers. He made headlines on Wednesday when told he WEEI that he felt his coaches had not been loyal to him.
In addition to questions about the coaching staff, the Red Sox experienced a rash of injuries this season. Boston was forced to use a franchise record 56 players in 2012. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, David Ortiz and Andrew Bailey were all forced to spend a significant amount of time on the disabled list.
Even with all of the bad luck, the Red Sox felt it was time to go in a new direction.
"Difficult as it is to judge a manager amid a season that had an epidemic of injuries, we feel we need to make changes,” said Boston president Larry Lucchino. “Bobby leaves the Red Sox manager's office with our respect, gratitude, and affection.”
While the Red Sox were very unlucky, Valentine began making missteps at the start of the season. The club traded Kevin Youkilis after the manager criticized the third baseman’s effort. The comments seemingly put a strain on Valentine’s relationship with some of the veteran players.
By July, Valentine had lost control of the team. Yahoo Sports reported that several players held a meeting with Red Sox ownership, demanding that he be fired.
Boston began the year with a payroll around $175 million and high expectations. In August, they traded a few of their best players in Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 2012 marks the third straight season that Boston has missed the playoffs.
The Red Sox was Valentine's third stop as an MLB manager. He managed the Rangers from 1985-1992 and led the Mets for seven seasons. He took New York to the World Series in 2000.