Bobby Valentine isn’t off to a very smooth start as the skipper of the Boston Red Sox.
After calling out one of the team’s nitty-gritty vets, Kevin Youkilis, in an interview less than two weeks into the season, Valentine looked like kind of an idiot again on Wednesday when he incorrectly penciled in a lineup that would typically face left-handed pitchers.
No big deal, if the Red Sox were facing a lefty. But the Red Sox were never facing a lefty on Wednesday; they were scheduled to face the right-handed Liam Hendriks:
“I looked on this thing,” Valentine said, gesturing to his cellphone, “and there was no history on him. It had his name, and ‘against left-handed hitting.’ My fault. That’s why you make these lineups out early enough.”
Valentine said Saltalamacchia was the one who discovered the error.
If Valentine wasn’t already being scrutinized for his comments about Youkilis, which created somewhat of a schism in the clubhouse, this probably isn’t that big of a deal. Maybe it still isn’t, but it can’t help Valentine that a player had to point out his mistake — again. And we’re still in April.
Also, what the hell is he doing researching the opposing pitcher on his phone just hours before the game? Most managers are playing with the next day’s lineup the night before or the morning of a game and they’re probably not doing cursory research on their handheld devices. I could be wrong, but it comes off as extremely halfhearted, especially for a manager who has already been likened to the Titanic in open water because he’s taking time away from the team to do a weekly radio show in New York.
Valentine was a pretty terrible analyst on ESPN, but it certainly appears that he’s not faring much better in his first month back as a head coach. Maybe some of the Red Sox players are starting to wonder if Ozzie Guillen made a good suggestion.