(AP)The importance of managers in Major League Baseball tends to be overhyped. There's only so much a manager can do to affect the outcome of a season, or even a game. And there's only so much difference between every manager in baseball. In other words, no matter who managed the Boston Red Sox in 2012, they probably were going to win something like 69 games. Keep that in mind when you read the following words from Bobby Valentine, who happened to be Boston's skipper in 2012, but is now ... for some reason ... the athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
Via WEEI radio:
“I thought I did a hell of a job in Boston,” Valentine said. “I thought what had to be done there was done except for winning a pennant. But Connie Mack wasn’t going to win with that team.”
Connie Mack was a .486 career manager, Bobby V ought to know. Couldn't even win half of his games and had half a century to do it! (It probably was because he was his own GM.)
Now, just because the position of manager tends to get too much blame or too much credit, depending on the team's results, that doesn't mean Valentine is going to get away with a statement like he made.
Of course he didn't do a "hell" of a job with the Red Sox, unless that means he contributed to the hell that was 2012. Underperforming players and the front office that acquired them should get most of the blame, but don't be deluded: Valentine was alienating his players (and fans, for what it was worth) from Day 1. Not only did Valentine do a poor job, he did such a poor job that there was no taking him back for a second season. He made the Red Sox fire him.
Still, no matter what Valentine thinks of his own work, there can't be any other person on the planet who would manage a team to 93 losses and say "I did a hell of a job." The person would say something like: We lost too many games and I'll take responsibility for it. I'll learn from the failure. I'm sorry.
Maybe those words don't come easily on the first day of your next job. Then again, Valentine wasn't cornered into applying at Sacred Heart. He didn't have to take a college job, or any job. He could have sat out a year, or gone back to analyzing baseball on TV and waited for the storm to pass so he could return to MLB. It's just another in a series of curious moves on Valentine's part. Perhaps he can find peace and success at Sacred Heart. It sure wasn't happening in Boston.