Nothing personal, Bobby Valentine, but you're just not the right guy for the job. You've been in charge of the Boston Red Sox for nearly one full season, and let's look at what you've done in that time period, shall we?
Let's see. Well, first, you publicly criticized the work ethic of one of the core members of the Red Sox' championship-winning teams, Kevin Youkilis, leading to an ugly divorce. You've made a handful of questionable managerial decisions -- everything from leaving pitchers in too long to batting a guy third in the lineup who had no business being there. Oh, yeah, and you threatened to punch a radio host in the mouth for asking a legitimate question. Wait, that was a joke. Ha ha?
None of that means anything, though, right? Clearly, people are out to get you, and that's why you've faced waves and waves of public criticism. People have their own agendas and they want nothing more in the world than to see you fail, so that's why they're slamming you. It has nothing to do with any of the above or the fact that your baseball team, the one that started the year with one of the highest payrolls in baseball, is 63-76 and tied for last place in the American League East.
Nope. None of that matters. People are out to get you. That's it. It's the only logical explanation.
"It's always been personal. All year, it's been personal," said Valentine. "But when you start dealing with integrity, start dealing with whether I'm a truthful person, whether I'm going to give a full day's work, and then when it comes to dealing with my family and how much they mean to me or should mean to me, that's over the line, and I'm not going to take it here in the dugout and I won't take it on a radio or TV show, thank you very much."
"I don't think it's personal with a lot of managers. But with me, there's guys with agendas and they've made it personal, but who cares? I'm all ready for that. I've been there, done that," Valentine told Caron. "I understand little people. I understand agendas. I've learned, in my life, to live with that -- not here in Boston; my whole life." (via WEEI)
Where to start, where to start. Look, Bobby, we get that some people have agendas in life, but come on, do you really think that's the reason why you're being criticized? You really think it has nothing to do with your performance? Is that completely out of the realm of possibility, Bobby?
And let's address this whole attacking your family nonsense. Please, spare us the drama. Glenn Ordway wasn't attacking your family when he asked you about being late to the clubhouse (because you were picking up your son, as we all learned AFTER the fact) on the team's recent West Coast road trip. Nick Cafardo, if he did first report your tardiness, wasn't going after your family. Glenn and Nick were doing their jobs and reporting. Sure, maybe reporters could (and should) have asked you about the incident to clear things up, but facts are facts: you were late.
And you know what? That wouldn't have been an issue if there wasn't a negative body of work already hanging over your head. If you and your club were sitting atop the AL East and you didn't have a history of curious comments and strange decisions, do you think anyone would have cared if you were late to the clubhouse? Absolutely not, and it's sophomoric that you would think that way.
As for the question of whether or not you have checked out, that's a perfectly legitimate question when you have given plenty of signs of being miles away from the ballpark mentally. See, for instance, the Scott Podsednik batting third ... scandal ... incident ... gate (you get the point).
How about stopping the finger pointing, Bobby, and acting like an adult? No one is out to get you. The criticism isn't coming from any personal agendas. People are criticizing you because you have failed, miserably, at your job. Accept it and move on. It's the grown up and honorable thing to do.
Gethin Coolbaugh is the Editor of SB Nation Boston. Follow him @GethinCoolbaugh on Twitter.