We've had some coaching changes in this town over the last couple of years — Mike D'Antoni, Willie Randolph — but they were more traditional firings or resignations, teams or coaches deciding it was time to go. D'Antoni's exit wasn't ideal, but it didn't have that much drama, and besides, the Knicks went on a crazy winning streak after he was gone. We haven't had a good old-fashioned "let's smack this guy around in public until somebody just up and dies." Those are limited to Boston these days.
The Red Sox are three games under .500 and six and a half games out of the second wild-card spot, and while that's certainly not good, it's not the season, say, the Phillies are having. (And the Red Sox are doing it against much better competition and underperforming their run differential. And have had a ton of injuries.) But very early on in this season — and, anecdotally, every Red Sox fan we know verifies this — the fan base decided that this year's team stinks and that Bobby Valentine is a horrible manager and a horrible person and horrible monster fatface jerk.
The players, according to a blockbuster piece by Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan yesterday, apparently feel the same way and even had a team meeting in July saying they didn't want to play for him anymore. Apparently it wasn't that much of an ultimatum, considering he's still there and the Red Sox are still playing games.
Regardless, barring an insane explosion in the last month and a half — something we sort of think the Red Sox fans wouldn't deserve anyway, though part of us would find it amusing to see them say they knew it was coming all along — Bobby V is going to be out as Boston's manager after only one season, and we'll go through all of this again. Valentine didn't leave Flushing on the wings of doves either, but there was some good feeling there, and we all sort of enjoyed having him still hanging around as a Connecticut curio. (Who can forget that hilarious "oh, Bobby Valentine is out directing traffic, doing his civic duty" video from a few years back?)
Whatever your thoughts about Valentine, he's an entertaining guy to have around baseball, and it's sort of sad to have to watch him go through this. Of course, that sadness is more than made up for, one suspects, by the Red Sox tearing themselves apart. Again. Oh, but it was all Theo's fault.