Sunday, July 1, 2012

Give It A Rest, Jim Bowden

Here are six other managers (three in each league) who have done very well with much less than what Girardi and Washington have. They are my choices for the best managers in baseball thus far in 2012.
1. Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox
Fans and the media have criticized Valentine more than any other manager this year. However, when the dust settles, the fact remains he’s been the AL’s best manager in the first half of the season.

It has been a Boston baptism by fire for Valentine, as he’s had to contend with major injuries to his bullpen (Andrew Bailey), outfield (Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury) and starting rotation (namely Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz), unpopular trades (Kevin Youkilis) as well as failed trades (Marlon Byrd), and rotation experiments (Daniel Bard). He inherited unhappy coaches and players who obviously weren’t ready for a new leader and a different way of doing business.
Despite all of this, Valentine’s squad sits 38-34, a mere 1 1/2 games out of the second AL wild-card berth. Valentine has done a tremendous job of managing his bullpen. Alfredo Aceves has been a revelation as the closer, going 18-for-21 in save opportunities. Scott Atchison, Matt Albers, Rich Hill and Andrew Miller all have ERAs under 3.00. Their success stems mostly from Valentine’s ability to put pitchers in the best position to succeed. Will Middlebrooks and Felix Doubront are developing into good big leaguers while the decimated outfield has somehow helped contribute to an offense that has scored the second most runs in baseball. Love him or hate him, Valentine has this team within striking distance of a wild card berth despite a plethora of obstacles.

These are the words of ESPN’s Jim Bowden.  He’s working for ESPN and not a Major League organization because his observations of talent are clearly lacking, both on and off the field.  I’m guessing every current GM (and agent) is pissed this guy isn’t running some organization so they can rip him off in trades.  There’s probably a good reason the last seven teams under Bowden’s control failed to have a winning record.


Bobby Valentine, the best manager in baseball so far in 2012?  Are you nuts?  Not only is his opinion incorrect in my mind, but he also determines his opinion to be a “fact.” Ha!

I don’t even know where to begin with this one, but I’ll start with the “unpopular trades” section where Bowden references Kevin Youkilis. Bowden clearly fails to remember that Valentine was the one calling Youk out for underperforming nine games into the season, tearing up the locker room.  There was almost a mutiny led by Duston Pedroia.  Does that really seem like good managing to you?

 David Ortiz isn’t happy and he’s speaking out about team chemistry.

Buster Olney said he's heard of unhappiness "not in just one corner, but multiple corners, different parts of the organization -- on issues of communication, on issues of how things are handled, and it was really striking."

Nice work, manager.

Valentine also had a reported rift early in the year with GM Ben Cherington about Daniel Bard’s role and keeping Jose Iglesias in the bigs.

At the time Valentine wrote this article, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz had missed a combined three starts.

It’s disingenuous to claim that guys outperforming expectations (ie Atchison) have done so because of Valentine’s tutelage but guys underperformers have only themselves to blame.

So, many of his players hate him, the locker room is in turmoil, he called out one of his most popular players for no great reason, and his team is in the middle of the standings. 

Come on, Jim.

This post was originally published on

No comments:

Post a Comment