On one hand, Valentine contended that he — not the front office — selected his coaching staff. Later on, he described the process of choosing coaches "as fine, but difficult" and cited communication issues with his staff.
"I just think there's an information flow that's needed in any organizational structure, and it needs to flow directly," Valentine said in his last pregame news conference. "This has been a work in progress to get things to flow in a straight line chain of command type of flow, or even information-need flow.
"I don't know how to describe it other than to think of telephones poles being set up down the street. When one of them goes down, it's tough to get the flow. So you want to set it up so it works."
All indications suggest Red Sox management urged Valentine to retain bench coach Tim Bogar, hitting coach Dave Magadan, bullpen coach Gary Tuck while hiring Bob McClure as the team's pitching coach.
Only first-base coach Alex Ochoa, third-base coach Jerry Royster and assistant pitching coach Randy Niemann — who all had ties to Valentine — seemed to be the former skipper's original selections.
And it resulted in quite the dissension between Valentine and Bogar, Tuck and McClure. The Red Sox eventually fired McClure in August and replaced him with Niemann in the interim.
When asked about the future manager's role in handpicking assistants, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington didn't hesitate to answer.
"A major role," Cherington said. "A strong voice as has always been the case in the past."
To some degree, Valentine alienated his coaches. In a radio interview in June, Valentine described McClure's two-week absence as a "vacation" knowing the pitching coach was tending to a medical emergency for his young child.
But team president Larry Lucchino acknowledged communication issues started at the top with ownership and filtered down to the coaching. So Lucchino pleaded for the public to ease up on Valentine for errors all across the board.
"Don't walk away, please, with the notion that somehow the dismal performance of this team was attributable solely to Bobby Valentine," Lucchino said. "That would be false and misleading and inaccurate. We all share responsibility, our misperception of things — the decisions we've made or didn't make along the way.
Improving communication is sure to be a priority moving forward.
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