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Column: Valentine on thin ice

New England Sports Columnist

Published: Monday, April 23, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 18:08

Is it too early to fire Bobby Valentine?

We are not even out of April and Bobby Valentine has done enough to piss of Red Sox Nation to the tune of them chanting “We want Tito” at the 100th Anniversary of Fenway this past Friday.

Of course, it is still early in the season but nothing he has done to this point has given me confidence that he is the right man for this job.

For one, he has shown an inability to manage the bullpen by leaving relievers in too long and not leaving starters in long enough, highlighted by letting Daniel Bard pitch to Evan Longoria 107 pitches into the game after giving up a four-pitch walk the to previous batter.

Longoria’s at-bat ultimately ended up in a second consecutive four-pitch walk that brought in a run.

Valentine’s failures don’t end with the on field stuff, he’s already messing with the locker-room by telling the media that Kevin Youkilis wasn’t all in so far this season.

Naturally, the Red Sox clubhouse came to Youk’s defense and Bobby V is now on the fast track to losing his clubhouse faster than any manager in baseball history.

After what happened in September last season, losing the clubhouse this early on in the season is something that Valentine does not want to happen.

I didn’t like the hire when it happened and I don’t like it now.

Boston’s dismal start cannot be blamed on just Valentine. There is only so much he can do. The players have to bear a large portion of the blame since they are the ones on the field.

The pitching staff, bullpen and starters alike, have been miserable and with the absence of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford and the offense has not been getting it done.

The abysmal perfotmance of the players this early on in the season isn’t even what concerns me most. It’s the fact that after they blew a nine-run lead and let up two-consecutive seven run innings, not a single one of the team “leaders” took questions from the media. Instead they sent out Mike Aviles and Matt Albers to do the damage control after the loss.

One may not think this is a huge deal, but to me it shows that the clubhouse still lacks the leadership it needs and may not be much different from the same clubhouse that plagued last September and lost Terry Francona his job.

Perhaps we will all look back on this and laugh when the Red Sox clinch a playoff spot in September but until then, “We want Tito!”

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