John Henry Offers Bobby Valentine Vote of Confidence as Ben Cherington Promises to Support Skipper

John Henry Offers Bobby Valentine Vote of Confidence as Ben Cherington Promises to Support SkipperBOSTON — At this moment, Ben Cherington is standing behind Bobby Valentine.

But that's as far as the Red Sox general manager is willing to commit. When asked if he'd be keeping Valentine at helm of the Red Sox for the rest of the season, Cherington declined to make any assurances.

"He's our manager," Cherington said. "I'm not getting into timelines. I'm not going to get into a timeline for myself, either. We're just doing the job right now, doing the job the best we can, and we're focused on making it better and I support Bobby.

"Bobby's our manager and we're not considering anyone else. He's as committed to managing the team as he ever has been, and we're committed to him and trying to do everything we can to support him and make this work."

Red Sox owner John Henry reiterated that sentiment in an email to media outlets, accepting his share of the blame. In the process, he offered a vote of confidence for the embattled skipper.

"There is often the thought in organizations, 'This isn't working so the manager needs to go,'" Henry wrote. "But an organization is much more than the field manager. We all share responsibility for the success and failure of the Boston Red Sox. We are not making a change in manager."

Heading into Monday's contest, the Red Sox had dropped four of their last five games and were teetering one game below .500 at 54-55 — a record well short of their expectations by this time in August.

The division race is seemingly out of out of reach and the wild card remains the Red Sox' last hope. But Boston is currently staring up at Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Detroit and Los Angeles in the standings.

"We've got to perform better as a team and there's a lot of people here responsible for our performance," Cherington said. "I am, the front office is, Bobby is, the coaching staff, the players. Collectively, we're not performing the way we expect to and that's on us collectively to figure it out.

"I've talked to ownership a lot. I've talked to them every day about the state of things because none of us are happy with our record and perform of our team at this point, so the focus has entirely been on how to make it better."

Amid the speculation, Cherington took moments to praise Valentine's talent evaluation skills. From noticing Franklin Morales' starting ability to maximizing Will Middlebrooks' and Pedro Ciriaco's potentials, Valentine has discovered gems this season.

Despite the praise, Cherington also revealed there were some issues with Valentine's communication between the coaching staff to start the season. But it's a dynamic that Cherington believes has improved, recently.

"Anything that I think he can do a little differently, I'm going to talk to him about it and I have talked to him about it," Cherington said. "There's things he's expressed to me that I can do differently and I've taken that to heart. Collectively, we have to perform better."

That's one thing all parties can agree on.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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