Report: Bobby Valentine will be the next manager of the Red Sox

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UPDATE: He’s back. Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston confirms that Bobby Valentine will indeed be the next manager of the Red Sox.

Valentine was offered the job while he was away on personal business in Japan and immediately accepted. He is expected to fly back home tomorrow while CSNNE.com reports that he will likely be introduced as Boston’s new skipper during a press conference Thursday.

Valentine, now 61 years old, hasn’t managed in the majors since 2002. He has a 1117-1072 record (.510) over 15 seasons between the Rangers and Mets.

While Valentine has his fair share of critics (and enemies) around the game, baseball is more fun with him in the dugout. Or at least more interesting. And with the Red Sox still reeling from one of the worst collapses in baseball history, this will be a fascinating situation to watch.

7:13 PM: Nothing official from the team yet, but Mike Lynch of WCVB-TV in Boston is reporting that the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine have reached a “verbal agreement” for him to be the team’s next manager.

We have heard conflicting reports this afternoon about whether Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont is still in the mix for the job. As of this evening, Lamont was told that he is still a candidate.

Valentine is expected to return from Japan tomorrow, so we’ll likely hear something official in the next 24 hours.

Bartolo Colon ain’t doing so hot this year

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If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.

Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.

The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.

At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.