April 21, 2012

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 6 comments

In other news, the Red Sox are not pitching a perfect game.

posted by feloniousmonk at 07:27 PM on April 21, 2012

Bobby Vablentine looks confused, beaten, and should have stuck with TV. Boston's bullpen should be home watching TV.

posted by dyams at 09:18 PM on April 21, 2012

Is it really Valentine's fault that his (rookie) GM has put together what is (so far) one of the worst bullpens in baseball history?

Almost every pitcher he's used (starter OR bullpen, except 36 year old Scott Atchison) has sucked.

Even funnier, the Red Sox are now 4-10. Last year, they were 4-10, and still ended up only one blown save away from the post-season.

I have to believe it's a little early to be opening the trap door on Valentine...

posted by grum@work at 09:31 PM on April 21, 2012

Valentine's mouth has gotten him in trouble, his tactics seem to have the team hating him already, Boston fans would rather Francona still be managing, and his team is getting smoked. Who on that roster is going to take charge of turning things around? Nobody. They're picking up where they left off last year.

posted by dyams at 10:28 PM on April 21, 2012

More evidence that Imperial Lord Ferg might be losing it.

Or maybe it's a strategy for increasing the transfer fee come summer.

/Since you ask. Worst defenders in the Premier League:

- David Luiz
- Jonny Evans
- Gael Givet

posted by owlhouse at 12:08 AM on April 22, 2012

Is it really Valentine's fault that his (rookie) GM has put together what is (so far) one of the worst bullpens in baseball history?

I'm not altogether sure that Ben Cherington was free to pick up the bullpen help he needed. You can bet there was a pretty strict spending limit, at least until the season started, beyond which Cherington could not venture. Couple that with the fact that there was not a lot of pitching help, starting or relief, available this past winter at reasonable prices, and you can understand what has happened. Theo Epstein has long been regarded as a very smart GM, but when you look at the sum of successes and failures, he was neither as smart as thought nor as seriously dumb as others. This edition of Boston American League Baseball is still Epstein's team, and will be for another season or 2.

As for Valentine being booed, it's not so much that his management decisions have been questionable as it is that he is managing the team to begin with. He was hired ahead of some sound baseball men as what appears to have been a public relations ploy. He never had all that much success managing in the majors, so his chief claims to fame are his Japanese experience and his work in the broadcast booth. Major league players who become involved in Japanese baseball are usually of 2 types: those who are somewhat past their prime or those who are slightly better than minor leaguers but not quite good enough to make big bucks in the majors. I believe this might also apply to American managers in Japan - Trey Hillman, Marty Brown, and Joe Lutz are not exactly big names.

It all comes down to the person who is really running the team. With Theo Epstein's departure, Larry Lucchino now has uncontested power in the front office. Lucchino's focus seems to be on "Fenway is the Attraction" and baseball is secondary. I've said it before, the 'pink hats' and bandwagon riders still eat it up, but the hard core fans are growing tired of it. One or two more years of finishing out of the playoffs should cause those who go to the park because it is a trendy place to go to begin to find other venues as 'the place to be'.

posted by Howard_T at 01:51 PM on April 22, 2012

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