BOSTON — After a last place finish in which Boston had its worst season in decades, several members of the Red Sox front office are still looking back with disbelief at the lack of success the team had while under the wing of manager Bobby Valentine, who was fired shortly after the final game.
“Firing him was really our only choice,” principal owner Phil Morris said. “I mean, after what we did last year, we had to be consistent. But we really thought we had a winner in this guy – all that baseball experience and the success managing in Japan. And he looked so knowledgeable on ESPN as an analyst last year. That was the tipping point for us.”
Morris said it never occurred to him that it might be a problem to put Valentine at the helm despite his having been out of Major League Baseball for a decade.
“Hey, we didn’t make the playoffs with Francona last year either,” Palestro said. “After that [late-season] collapse, we wanted someone who could turn things around here, someone with a less laid-back attitude who wouldn’t take shit from his players.”
Other influential members of the front office said that “Francona’s time was clearly over” after last season, and despite his managing style that brought about two championships and three other postseason runs, it “was time for some new blood.”