WEEI Red Sox reporter Alex Speier reported Wednesday that Bobby Valentine’s hiring as the new manager flies in the face of an administrative promise made earlier in the off-season that the team would not go after a disciplinarian. While the report did not state who made the promise or to which player, a similar report by ESPNBoston.com’s Joe McDonald suggests Speier is (as usual) right on the money.
If that’s the case, management’s decision to go with Valentine is yet another botched play from Ben Cherington and this suddenly bumbling ownership group.
Which Front-Office Staffer’s Nose is Growing?
GMs and owners shouldn’t have to consult with players on the majority of baseball operations. In many cases, what front-office guys do is either too complicated or too unrelated to be worth bothering players with.
But on the other hand, management should never straight-up lie to players, either. And that’s exactly what appears to have happened: Management told at least one player Valentine specifically would not be the next Red Sox manager, then they went ahead and hired him anyway.
They knew the Red Sox feared the arrival of a disciplinarian like Valentine after seven years of “player’s manager” Terry Francona. But instead of listening to the players and working with them to assuage their concerns, Cherington’s staff decided the best course of action was to ignore the players and sell them a line, then let Cherington unilaterally do whatever he wanted.
It was a cowardly, dishonest decision that does nothing to fix the widely held belief by fans that this new era is nothing but a pale shadow of the Francona-Theo Epstein era.