The first was failing to piece together Boston's bullpen quickly enough to start the season. But the second — and most scrutinized decision — was the Red Sox skipper's critical comments made about ex-player Kevin Youkilis in April.
Before Wednesday's season-finale against the Yankees, Valentine expressed regret for those two mistakes.
"I didn't expect that reaction," Valentine said, referring to the reaction from the Youkilis comments. "I wouldn't have made the Youkilis comment [and] I would have been more prepared for the bullpen situation at the beginning of the season that occurred."
Whether the moment of reflection is enough to save Valentine's job is currently unknown. But Valentine's clashes with players stemmed from the Youkilis comments, which had a negative effect in the clubhouse.
It reportedly led to a meeting in July, where the team organized a meeting with ownership and pleaded with them to fire Valentine. Aside from the Youkilis comments and the bullpen situation, the skipper didn't lament taking the managerial job.
"It's a great life experience," Valentine said. "That's what life is. It wasn't always an enjoyable experience but it's been great, one I'll look back on and I'm sure I've learned from."
Through it all, Valentine praised John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner for their unwavering support.
"Ownership has been incredible," Valentine said. "I didn't know very much of any of the three guys but it seemed like when things got worse, one of them would always be there to say hang with 'em."
It remains to be seen if that backing will continue this offseason.