Red Sox owner John Henry answered the calls for Bobby Valentine’s dismissal with an email sent to WEEI’s Rob Bradford and others Monday:
I’ve gotten questions about Bobby and about ownership from you so I’ll say the following on the record.
To blame Bobby Valentine for the Red Sox being .500 at this point in the season is simply wrong. A lot has been written about injuries to key players this year. The impact of that on the Sox this year should not be discounted.
Later on the in the email, Henry added that, “We are not making a change in manager.”
Which is probably for the best; if the Red Sox let Valentine go now, it’d suggest the inmates are running the asylum. Valentine has been a pretty good in-game manager for Boston since some early bumps in the road when he was trying to figure out how to utilize his closer-less bullpen, and given the number of injuries they’ve had, it’s hard to argue that the Red Sox have underachieved.
Whether Valentine should be invited back next year is the better question. The Boston clubhouse doesn’t seem like a very happy environment at the moment, and while that can’t be all Valentine’s fault, he’s not exactly one to unify the players (unless it’s in rallying them against himself). His early public comments on Kevin Youkilis certainly didn’t help the former All-Star turn it around, and the Red Sox eventually had little choice but to make a choice between Valentine and Youkilis, resulting in the terrible trade that sent Youkilis to Chicago.
Personally, I think the Red Sox should remove Valentine in the offseason and bring in more of a players’ manager in his place. Making the switch now would send the wrong message, though.