There's the fire that Red Sox Nation is looking for.
Bobby Valentine has finally been ejected from a game as manager of the Red Sox. It took 39 games for the first-year Boston skipper to get chucked, but it was worth the wait, as Valentine's ensuing argument was both entertaining and encouraging.
Sure, Valentine's ejection does nothing to change the result of Friday's game, which ended in a 6-4 victory for the Phillies. But it goes a long way toward showing Sox fans that Valentine does have that fire that many expected to see on a nightly basis after he took the gig in the offseason.
That isn't to say Valentine hasn't shown some spark here and there this season. But every time he left the dugout to contest a call, one was left wondering, "Is this it? Will he finally get tossed?" On Friday, it happened, and it's likely the result of some pent-up frustration stemming from the early-season struggles, as well as some recent umpire run-ins.
Valentine emerged from the dugout in the ninth inning of Friday's game following a questionable call at first base. Marlon Byrd hit a grounder that was fielded by Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Byrd appeared to beat Rollins' throw, but first-base umpire Gary Darling ruled the Red Sox outfielder was out, clearly angering Valentine in the process.
It didn't take long for Darling to give Valentine the hook once the manager headed out onto the field, which Valentine noted during his postgame chat with NESN's Jenny Dell.
"Umpire had a short fuse. I never swore at him or anything," Valentine said. "He threw me out after questioning [the call] twice. I guess you can't question things twice."
Perhaps he's right. Maybe questioning something once is suffice. Valentine proved that by answering the skeptics who wondered whether he'd ever show the fire he had become known for during his previous managerial stints.
As mentioned, the Red Sox still added to the loss column on Friday and that was going to be the case, ejection or no ejection. However, Valentine at least showed once again that he has his players' backs, and that he's willing to kick, scream and argue in order to support and rally his players.
Valentine has been pretty tame while guiding Boston so far this season, but Friday's outburst could trigger the emergence of a whole new Bobby V.