Before Saturday's game against the Athletics, the Red Sox
skipper didn't arrive at the ballpark until about three hours before the first pitch, much later than most managers typically pull into the stadium.
That night, he also raised eyebrows by slotting Scott
Podsednik into the No. 3 hole in the lineup. When asked about the move,
Valentine nonchalantly told reporters it was "a mistake" and "what
the [expletive], switch it up."
It's an odd string of decisions for Valentine. But Red Sox
general manager Ben Cherington defended the skipper, citing the excruciating
losses for putting him in an awkward position.
on all of us," Cherington told reporters. "When
the manager is in the middle of it every day and he's the one who has to answer
the questions after the game every day, it's hard. When things aren't going
well, that's hard. I feel for him. I'm sure, at times, frustration comes out.
The truth is that he's working with a roster, some of which is we're finding
out about guys. It's not as easy to write out the lineup as he thought it might
be in spring training.
be frustrating for anyone. Part of it is frustration boiling over when you're
sort of the focal point of that and you have to answer the questions after the
game. I don't know how I'd react if I was in that position. I've never done it.
I can imagine it's tough."
issues have also hampered Valentine's relationship with his players. When the
team called up catcher Ryan Lavarnway and shortstop Jose Iglesias, he
reportedly never discussed the situation with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike
Either way, it's
been a messy situation for the Red Sox, who have dropped seven straight games — in which the team has been outscored 58-16. But Cherington declined to address
Valentine's future with the team.
"As things weren't going as well as
they wanted to post-July 31, before the trade with the Dodgers, I talked with [Valentine] about controlling the things we could control," Cherington
said. "We're both being evaluated on the work we do every day and the
position we're putting our players in, the decisions we make.
"The wins and losses are always going
to be a reflection of the talent that's on the field more than anything else.
Our players know that. Bobby knows that. I certainly know that. After the
trade, I had another conversation with him to that effect, that was even more
obvious at that point, that wins and losses is never a great way to evaluate a
manager. It's always relative to the talent on the roster.
"But certainly, right now, that's not
the right way to evaluate what's going on. It's the work that gets done. You
can get the right work done every day and be mindful of how guys are being used
and find out as much as we can about these guys in a safe way the rest of the
For now, that responsibility belongs to Valentine.