Red Sox fire Bobby Valentine

October 4, 2012, 12:52 pm
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(NECN) - As expected, the Red Sox have fired manager Bobby Valentine, the day after the team finished its worst season since 1965.

A tweet from the Red Sox at 12:47 p.m Thursday announced that Valentine wouldn't return as manager.

"Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons," Executive Vice-President/General Manager Ben Cherington, who made the announcement and who'll lead the search for the next manager said in a statement released by the team. "No single issue is the reason, and no single individual is to blame.  We've been making personnel changes since August, and we will continue to do so as we build a contending club. With an historic number of injuries, Bobby was dealt a difficult hand.  He did the best he could under seriously adverse circumstances, and I am thankful to him."

The Red Sox finished with a record of 69-93 and in last place in the American League East Division after they ended the season with a 14-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night in New York.

Valentine, 62, who previously managed the Texas Rangers, New York Mets and in Japan, was hired in December to replace Terry Francona, who led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 (their first in 86 years) and 2007. The team collapsed last September under Francona, blowing a 10-game wild card lead and failing to reach the playoffs.

That streak without a postseason appearance has now stretched to a third year in a row. This stormy season included a blockbuster trade in August with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the team had fallen out of contention.  In that deal,  Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford were dealt to L.A., freeing up more than $250 in contract obligations.

Valentine also clashed with media, players and his coaching staff during the season. The roster was beset by injuries and team wound up using a franchise-record 56 players in 2012.

Valentine is the first Red Sox manager to last only one season since 1934. He was given a two-year deal last December that would reportedly pay him $2.5 million a year.

“This year’s won-loss record reflects a season of agony,” Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino said in the team's release.  “It begs for changes, some of which have already transpired.  More will come.  We are determined to fix that which is broken and return the Red Sox to the level of success we have experienced over the past decade."

Red Sox principal owner John Henry said in the release:

“In our meeting with Bobby today, he handled everything with dignity and class, and it is deeply appreciated. Ultimately, we as owners are responsible for arming our organization with the resources—intellectual, physical, and financial — to return to the levels of competitiveness to which we aspire and to which our fans are accustomed.  Our commitment to winning is unwavering.  It is a commitment to this team, to this city, and to these fans who have supported us through thick and thin."

The team's release also included this quote from Valentine:

“I understand this decision,” said Valentine.  “This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation.

“It was a privilege to be part of the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches.  My best to the organization.  I’m sure next year will be a turnaround year."

Current Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell, a former Red Sox pitching coach under Francona, is the leading candidate to replace Valentine. The Red Sox are expected to make a hard push for Farrell, who has a year remaining on his contract with the Blue Jays.

Toronto would seek compensation in the form of players and/or money from the Red Sox if they let Farrell out of his contract and he becomes Boston's new manager.

Tags: Boston Red Sox, Bobby Valentine, Ben Cherington, Larry Luchhino, man age fired
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