Here’s a good piece by our ol’ chum Pete Abe about why firing Bobby V won’t fix the Red Sox.
[Pictures Via: Boston SportsU18; Boston Public Library]
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Excellent piece. Let's face it - it's easy to scapegoat Bobby V. because he's easy for people to hate. My feeling is that if you leave him alone for a year or two, that team will be very, very good.
 I'm not sure Valentine has done a good job or a bad job - I'm not sure a manager really does a lot to add wins to a team's bottle line.
But I don't think Valentine's performance matters. Pete Abe's overall premise - its the roster, not the manager - is exactly right. I don't agree with all of his arguments on his way to that premise, but c'est la vie.
Boston has no depth. That was true on November 1, 2011 (and November 1, 2010), and its true now. Their upper minor league system is devoid of help (the Sox already called up the handful of guys who could do somethign). Unless some of the guys in A ball and some of the guys recently promoted to AA develop, that depth problem isn't going away.
I think it will be fascinating to see what Lucchino and Henry do this winter. I'm thinking it will be a disaster, given their track record, but we'll see.
He's a good manager. I think not letting him have his own coaching staff is ridiculous.
 Heh, bottle line. Prob'ly beer, right?
The team did actually have some depth last year -- Middlebrooks, Lavarnway, and Doubront are all good players, and even Cook is serviceable. They sure are short of depth now, though. Largely because several of their starting players are a lot worse than they expected -- Youk was too.
I don't see that they can do a whole lot this winter. They can't get rid of Crawford or Beckett, so they can't spend much without getting into luxury tax jeopardy. Still on the hook for Lackey. (They will finally be free of Dice-K, though.) Their bargain players -- Saltalamacchia, Bailey, Ellsbury, Cook, Morales -- are one-year contracts, so they will have to spend money to replace them. There's an OF, Jackie Bradley, who they're excited about, but I would guess he's a couple years off.
did somebody say beer?!
 Yeah, that is ridiculous. Different managers have different approaches, and they don't always mesh well with holdovers from the previous regime. And the players & coaches shouldn't be mad at Bobby V. for Francona's firing, they need to look in the mirror.
Gawd, how bad does it have to be if I'm defending Bobby Valentine?
 "Heh, bottle line. Prob'ly beer, right?"
I'm sure if the organization let Bobby have his way, he'd prefer Dos Equis...
 I don't think they're mad at Bobby for Francona's firing, I think that they're mad because he's almost a the polar opposite of him. But then, part of the reason they brought Bobby in was because they felt that Francona had let the patients rule the asylum, so to speak. The pushback has to be far greater than the front office expected for it to be on the level of discussing Bobby's future long before the season ends. But I agree, they have to shoulder a majority of the blame for that, it's the roster and staff they constructed and I doubt any manager, especially ones who are saddled with coaching hold-overs they probably don't even like, much less fundamentally agree with, could have enough of an impact to turn them into winners. It's up to the players, and so far it doesn't look like that's gonna change as presently constituted.
Bobby V has always reminded me of Billy Martin as a manager - somebody who you win with in the short run because he runs the team hot. To hire him and then restrict his influence is plain dumb.
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