It has been a long season for the Boston Red Sox. After the free fall at the end of last season the team brought in Bobby Valentine to right the ship, and so far it hasn't been easy. Prior to Saturday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies the Sox are a dismal 18-21, and in last place--that's right, I said last place--in the AL East.
Part of the reason has been the reluctance of the team to fall in line with their new manager or the inability of Valentine to connect with his team (hmmm...maybe Valentine should challenge Josh Beckett to a round of golf). Which ever explanation you go with the end result is the same, bad baseball.
The good thing is the MLB season is 162 games long. While there is no such thing as a good loss or games you can afford to lose, should you have a crappy start like this that does not mean a team can't turn it around, and have a great season still. That can't happen if the players and the manager can't get on the same page.
Friday night could be a step in the right direction for the Red Sox Nation. With a two-run lead in the ninth, Bobby Valentine went out to contest Marlon Byrd being called out at first. In the process of stating his case, Valentine was ejected from the game for the first time as the Red Sox manager.
Baseball is a mental game. The best batters still fail in seven of 10 trips to the plate. If a pitcher loses confidence in his ability he is done. Players need to feel like their manager has their back. What better way to do that than to get tossed from the game arguing a call?
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Article by Travis Pulver