Bobby Valentine’s Mistake-Filled Day Means Critics, Fans Can Stop Waiting for Blunder, Team Can Move On to Baseball

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Bobby Valentine's Mistake-Filled Day Means Critics, Fans Can Stop Waiting for Blunder, Team Can Move On to Baseball

Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.

It was a bad day for Bobby Valentine.

But the Marathon Monday that Valentine would likely love to forget may also mark the day he officially got settled in as the new Red Sox manager.

All Valentine did Monday was fulfill the prophecies the critics had been making since the day the Red Sox signed him. He questioned a player. He divided his clubhouse. He over-managed a game. He went against the fans' opinions. His mouth got the best of him. His brain let him down. His decision turned what could have been a win into another Red Sox loss.

But, considering it's 10 games into the season, Valentine did all of that with remarkable efficiency.

Think about it — doubters have been plotting his demise since wintertime, and Valentine has been walking on eggshells through spring training and the start of the season. His press conferences have been bland, his comments on games uninspired. He hasn't been bad — just careful. He knew what his reputation was, and he was sure not to fall into those predictions and sabotage the team.

But now that he's had a rough day where he nailed each of the issues he was predicted to have all along, Valentine can move on. When he acknowledged that the fans had a point booing him on Monday, he was just about saying they had a point with all of their criticism. Their points were valid, he was saying, and he's going to do something about it.

To Valentine's credit, it looks like moving on is something he wants to do and has some skill with. He could have easily fallen back on excuses or hedged about his comments, but he didn't. He apologized — to everyone possibly involved. He admitted his mistakes, both in how he talked about Kevin Youkilis and how he kept Daniel Bard in Monday’s game, which led to Bard walking in the game's lone run.

Valentine is learning, and he's not afraid to admit his mistakes.

Even the fans got a mea culpa on Monday after protesting when Valentine left Bard in the game.

"They thought what I thought — should have taken him out earlier," Valentine said later. "They're good fans. They know what's going on.''

Valentine isn't afraid of his reputation, or the expectations that come with managing the Boston Red Sox. He knew what was coming if he took the job, and what people would say about him.

Valentine's quickness to acknowledge his mistakes and the valid complaints from critics and fans alike show that he wants to make this relationship work. He's not entrenched in his ways.

He did his best not to slip up, but now that he has, maybe everyone can breathe easier. The cat's out of the bag; Bobby said too much.

Now that all that's over, the baseball can begin.

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