The Red Sox season hasn’t gone according to plan, and much of the blame has been placed on the shoulders of 62-year-old manager Bobby Valentine. Several members of the Red Sox are fed up with Valentine, and the situation reportedly came to a head in late July, when this group was highly critical of its manager and expressed those sentiments to ownership.
Regardless of whether or not these players informed ownership that they no longer wanted to play for Valentine, the new manager has undergone intense scrutiny this season. That tends to happen when a team with such high expectations is 59-62 through 121 games, 12.5 games out of first place in its division and five games out of the second wild card berth.
But much of this criticism is undeserved, as the Red Sox have experienced a litany of issues this year that have had far more of a material impact than the manager himself. While studies have shown the impact of a manager to be marginal at most over a 162-game season, it’s still a non-zero effect. However, injuries to key members of both the starting lineup and bullpen, strange and almost out-of-nowhere struggles from the starting rotation, and below average contributions from counted-on position players are why the Red Sox are on pace to miss the playoffs for the third straight season… not Valentine.
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