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Who's going to manage the Boston Red Sox in 2013?
Well, it depends on whom you ask. While Bobby Valentine might just be whistling in the dark, Wednesday before Boston's last home game in 2012 -- a game they lost to the Rays, dropping their record at Fenway Park to 34-47, worst since 1965 -- he said some things that suggested he will be back next year. A few excerpts from Boston.com:
Asked if he viewed this as potentially his last game at Fenway, Valentine replied, "I don’t think so, no, not until you asked that.
Asked if he had any dialogue with ownership about his status, Valentine replied, "No, there hasn’t been any dialogue. I mean, we’ve talked, but not about that. Which makes me think I’m coming back. I don’t know.’’
"All those variables are things I feel I’m prepared to handle," Valentine said. "When I come back next year, I think I’ll be prepared to handle them and hopefully we’ll have better results.
"Not much I would’ve done differently."
Then, interjecting a bit of gallows humor, he added, "I think I would have kept the beer in the clubhouse. I could have used it after a few of those games."
Heh. Good one, Bobby. You'll need that sense of humor in the coming weeks, as it seems your boss isn't exactly committed to bringing you back next season. From ESPN.com:
Appearing on the WEEI's "Dennis & Callahan" on Thursday morning, Cherington responded to a question on whether the team would move quickly on hiring a new manager should it decide to fire Valentine.
"I'd always rather get the decision right rather than rush it," Cherington said. "But I think that what we know we need to do is hit the ground running in this offseason. One of the things, as I look back at last offseason, that didn't go perfectly was simply the amount of time that we spent on the manager search and what that did to the rest of the offseason. I would like to spend less time on it this offseason, that's for sure."
You don't exactly have to read between the lines there. Sure, it's possible that Ben Cherington & Co. simply haven't made a decision about Valentine's future ... But that seems unlikely, doesn't it? How much more information would they need to gather? This has been a disastrous season for the Red Sox, certainly the worst since the 1970s. It would be one thing if the Red Sox were finishing in last place with a manager who's kept his nose clean, but when a manager makes a bunch of messes and his team doesn't play well ... Again, the conclusion to this drama seems pretty obvious. It's just a question of whether Valentine gets fired immediately after the season's last game, or he quits before then.