What’s Next for the Red Sox?
In Major League Baseball, players have their good and bad days, and teams have their good and bad seasons. Some teams dominate their leagues for decades at a time, others reign for a few years, and some teams live in a perpetual slump. All successful teams have one thing in common: good team management. In 2004, after a drought of 86 years without a World Series Championship, the Boston Red Sox won. It was all about the team management bringing in amazing players such as Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and Kevin Youkilis. The Red Sox remained dominant over the next three years, and in 2007 they won another World Series. This success was primarily credited to their headlining stars, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis and Josh Becket, who have played for the Red Sox until just recently.
After 2007, the Red Sox remained a baseball powerhouse until the end of the 2011 season, in which the Red Sox blew a nine-game lead as well as their spot in the post-season playoffs. Their reputation was further tarnished when some of the players were reported drinking beer and eating chicken nuggets in the clubhouse during games. As a result, Manager Terry Francona stepped down. With new management comes change. In the 2011-2012 offseason, the Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine to replace Francona as manager.
Valentine takes the same old-school approach he used when managing the Mets in the 1980s. He is accustomed to managing during an era when the players didn’t necessarily have to like the managers they played for. Valentine’s manner of coaching the Red Sox makes it so that the players don’t like him and don’t want to play for him. The day Valentine took over, pitcher Jonathan Papelbon signed a huge deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Then, in the middle of the season, after third baseman Kevin Youkilis and Valentine couldn’t get along, Youkilis was traded to the Chicago White Sox. Finally, their third star, pitcher Josh Beckett, one of the suspected culprits in the 2011 performance meltdown, was traded in a massive seven player deal with the Los Angles Dodgers.
After the meltdown in 2011, 2012 hasn’t shaped up to be what the team wanted. The Boston Red Sox always have high hopes for the themselves, but after 155 games, the Red Sox are 69-86. This is a problem for a team that went 90-72 last year.
After all this upheaval, the real question the Red Sox Nation wants to know is: what is the next move going to be for the Red Sox? Are they falling apart? According to Craig Uryase, a Hanover High School Senior and baseball player, the “players don’t respect Valentine.” Uryase thinks that the current General Manager is fine, but the team needs a new manager. Some names he suggests are Jim Leyland and Mike Sosa.
In contrast, Tim Berube, a social studies teacher at Hanover High School, thinks that Bobby Valentine should stay. He believes that Valentine hasn’t had enough time to interact with his team. Berube acknowledges that Valentine was thrown into a spot that is tough for even the most talented managers.
Only time will tell the future of the Red Sox and their manager Bobby Valentine, and the Red Sox Nation will be eagerly waiting with high hopes for next season.
Author’s Note: On Oct. 3, 2012, Bobby Valentine was fired the day after a disastrous season ended for the Red Sox. Now this fan truly does have hope for next year!