The Price of Gasoline

Gasoline

Image by Alesist

I stopped to get some gasoline on my way home today while wearing one of my Red Sox sweatshirts. When I went to pay the guy behind the counter was, of course, a Yankee fan. This is pretty unusual for these parts but predictably he asked if I had watched the 15-9 game on Saturday…

Much has been said about the collapse in this game and the apparent lack of talent in the Boston bullpen. Many people have been vocal about Bobby Valentine’s role in the 4-10 start to the season, none more so than the Boston fans at Fenway that night.

Valentine may not be doing and saying all the right things, but asking him to do that is like asking a player why he isn’t hitting 1.000. Philip Humber may have been perfect in his start on that night, but nothing is ever perfect in baseball – just ask Brendan Ryan.

Valentine has made some calls that have not worked out as well as he would have hoped, but other than the intentional base-on-balls to Curtis Granderson I haven’t really disagreed with any of them, and much of the criticism has come with the help of hindsight. His slightly vague comments on Kevin Youkilis appeared to be deliberately and negatively misinterpreted and in the end it was much ado about nothing.

The real facts are that Beckett, Lester and Buchholz all have ERA’s north of 5 leaving it to 24 year old lefty Felix Doubront to lead the staff with a 3.94 ERA. Alfredo Aceves has twice come in and failed to register a single out and Mark Melancon has landed back in the minors after giving up 11 runs in 4 games.

Valentine is doing what most managers do in taking the heat for his players saying “I need to do better. In every way.” but I think he is doing himself an injustice. His pitchers need to pitch like they can and players like the Pedroia need to stop with the arrogant superiority of comments like “that’s not how we do things here” and concentrate on playing the game.

My advice? Stop booing Bobby Valentine and show the players that there is no scapegoat for them this year.