Maybe it's a matter of the Celtics stealing most of the headlines. Maybe it's because the Sox have actually strung together a run of pretty good baseball. Or maybe everyone's just finally taking a breath. Whatever the reason, it's been a while since we've heard from the Bobby Valentine haters.
You know who I'm talking about.
The guys and gals who were convinced that Bobby V. was only in it for himself and didn't care about the team. The ones who blamed him for all the Sox struggles despite the fact that he'd inherited a crew of idiotic owners, entitled players and was hit with an early rash of injuries that would destroy most teams. The ones who COMPLETELY and UTTERLY freaked out over him doing a weekly radio appearance in New York an appearance that most have now forgotten even exists.
Where are they? Actually, I take it back. I'm not asking. Because I don't care.
We know it's just a matter of time before they'll be back. After all, Bobby Valentine isn't perfect. There's no question that he'll eventually screw up or say something stupid or piss off a player, and at that point all the haters will re-emerge from their cocoons.
WHATTA JOKE?! WORST MAN FOR THE JOB! I BEEN SAYIN' IT SINCE DECEMBAH!
But in the meantime, let's take a second and show some appreciation for what Valentine's accomplished. Or first, let's have a look at what he's been up against:
He was faced with the task of replacing one of the most popular managers in Red Sox history after one of the worst collapses in baseball history. He lost his center fielderleadoff hitter, his left fielder, five other outfielders, his closer and his anticipated set-up man. On top of that, he's had to play without his third baseman for three weeks and a week without his second basemanteam leader. His superstar first baseman has only one more homer than the back-up catcher. His No. 2 pitcher is a professional headache and has been in and out of controversy for most of the season. His No. 3 starter has one of the worst ERAs in baseball. His No. 5 starter has been his own worst enemy and is now in Pawtucket. To cap it off, all his actions and decisions have been made under the brightest spotlight in baseball, while playing in the most competitive division in baseball.
Still, through all that, the Sox are only three games out in the division. They're only two games out in the wild card. And while I'm not saying Bobby Valentine deserves all the credit for the Sox turning it around, I think that considering all the blame he got earlier in the season, he at least deserves SOME credit. He deserves a lot more than silence. He deserves at least one blog post. So here it is.
Nice work, Bobby V.