Bobby Valentine is a convenient scapegoat, but he’s not what’s ailin’ the Sox

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Well, not totally anyway. He has his share of the blame — some odd bullpen choices in the past week for one — but the “Bobby V has killed the Red Sox” stuff is probably out of hand at the moment. And, as Rob Bradford notes, the reason is pretty understandable. It’s Boston, and this is what Boston does:

So, Valentine continues to offer up fodder for those trying to suggest he is the be-all, end-all for this Red Sox start. It’s a lay-up for some, just like the beer and the chicken were in October. Symbolism. People love symbolism …   But what the reality should do is offer a reminder there are far more important issues for the Red Sox to deal with than the manager making verbal missteps.

The problems: the bullpen, obviously. It’s not been all about Valentine’s late hook, it’s been about putrid performances. Terry Francona wouldn’t have had any better options to go to during that meltdown on Saturday than Valentine did. Which is why the Sox are now gonna dabble with Daniel Bard back in the pen, at least in the short term.

The rotation has been pretty horrifying too. As have the injuries. As have Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis. As have injuries, most notably to Jacoby Ellsbury.

The team has one real structural problem — the pen — a lot of terrible early performances that are likely to improve and some injuries, which everyone goes through from time to time.  Yeah, their manager has been sub-optimal, but he’s not the whole story. And for as much fun as it is to talk about him, it’s probably time we let up on Bobby V.

Curtis Granderson chipped his tooth sliding into second base

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Brewers outfielder Curtis Granderson got his first hit of the postseason on Wednesday night in the top of the ninth inning of NLCS Game 5. Facing Ryan Madson with a runner on third base and two outs, Granderson laced a 3-2 fastball to the gap in right-center field. Granderson hustled into second base to beat the throw by Yasiel Puig. He slid head-first and his helmet slid off in the process. The helmet, unfortunately, bounced off the second base bag back towards Granderson’s face, hitting him in the mouth and chipping his front tooth.

To his credit, Granderson is taking the accident in stride:

At least Granderson doesn’t play hockey for a living.