UPDATE: Looks like today’s headline-creating comments might be Valentine’s last as a Red Sox employee. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that “upper management intends to remove Valentine as manager soon after the season ends.”
Bobby Valentine appeared on local radio in Boston this afternoon, which means Bobby Valentine said something that made headlines this afternoon. That’s just how it works at this point.
This time what happened is that WEEI host Glenn Ordway asked Valentine if his coaching staff has been loyal to him this season and the manager replied simply: “No.”
Ordway then asked if the coaching staff has tried to undermine him, to which Valentine said: “Yes.”
And then he went on to say:
I had to work through it all. Just another thing that’s part and parcel with the job. Work though it and try to make it better. That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional.
“That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional” coming from Bobby Valentine is maybe the funniest thing anyone has ever said.
Valentine later revealed that he’d like to make “some” changes to the coaching staff. If the Red Sox don’t fire him, of course.
The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.
Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).
John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.
What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.
The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?