Bobby Valentine is the gift that just keeps on giving.
According to Ian Harrison of ESPNBoston.com, “Valentine didn’t mince words Friday when asked whether there was a particular area of his last-place team he’d most like to improve.”
“Are you kidding? This is the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball. It could use help everywhere.” (Boston Herald)
Wow, the weakest September roster in the history of baseball? Really Bobby? I can’t tell if Bobby V. is feeling bad for himself, is just stirring the pot, or if he actually believes it. Or it could be a jab at General Manager Ben Cherington and Boston’s front office. With Bobby V., you just never know.
Let’s take a look at the starting lineup Valentine used on September 14:
Pedro Ciriaco: .299, 2 HR, 17 RBI
Jacoby Ellsbury: .269, 3 HR, 20 RBI
Mike Aviles: .252, 13 HR, 60 RBI
Cody Ross: .277, 20 HR, 73 RBI
Mauro Gomez: .297, 2 HR, 14 RBI
Ryan Lavarnway: .165, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Daniel Nava: .251, 4 HR, 29 RBI
James Loney (with Red Sox): .250, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Jose Iglesias: .077, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Not the greatest. Not inspiring. Not even good–but the worst in the history of baseball?
I know Valentine was referring to his entire roster, and not just his starting lineup–but I think the Chicago Cubs or Houston Astros may have something to say about the worst roster in baseball.
Imagine the pure joy reporters would have had if Valentine managed the 2003 Tigers (43-119) or the 2004 Diamondbacks (51-111). Valentine would have exploded to such epic proportions he could not have been contained by the sports section. It would have been front page stuff.
Valentine is going out like Gerard Butler from Law Abiding Citizen. If you don’t know the movie, here is a line from IMBd‘s synopsis: “A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands.” Right when we think Gerard Butler’s character has gone far enough for justice, he smiles and says, I’m just getting warmed up.
So maybe Bobby V. is just getting warmed up. I can imagine Valentine on his knees, staring up at John Henry and saying with an evil grin, “I’m gonna pull the whole thing down. I’m gonna bring the whole f***in’ diseased, corrupt temple down on your head. It’s gonna be biblical.” (IMBd)
A lot can be said out of frustration.
Remember the roster he thought he was getting when he took the Boston job? We all know he never envisioned a day when the heart of his order would be Aviles, Ross and Gomez. He thought he had an All-Star closer in Andrew Bailey (not the ass-clown Alfredo Aceves turned out to be). He thought he’d have some semblance of a starting rotation–one that may have even have included an embarrassed Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.
But, alas, he never really had any of that.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe noted:
“Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched Friday night because basically, there’s nobody else to pitch. David Ortiz remained out with his heel issue. Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford are gone. Will Middlebrooks is getting ready for next season. Dustin Pedroia is on paternity leave. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has a bad back.”
And because of those reasons we got a moment of honesty—Bobby V. style. Valentine’s honesty is more of a grandiose-truth. Sure, there is some kernel of reality buried deep inside the psychosis—but it’s really more fun to listen to rather than debate.
Oh, Bobby V., they’re gonna miss you in Boston. No, they won’t miss the losing. They won’t miss the drama. But whoever the next manager is will never give Boston fans little gems like This is the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball.
By the way, Boston went on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 on Friday night—just a few hours after Valentine declared Boston’s roster the weakest September roster in the history of all baseball. Sorry Toronto.