Report: Red Sox to fire beleaguered manager

Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine looks toward the outfield during their 10-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York Oct. 1, 2012.
AP Photo

Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine may be out of a job as early as Thursday, reports.

Citing "people familiar with the situation," baseball writer Jon Heyman reports Valentine's removal is expected for Thursday or Friday.

"No comment," read a text message from Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington to Heyman.

It's possible Valentine will be allowed to meet with the team's upper management to make a case to stay on for the last year of his two-year deal, but "several people" doubted that would change any minds, Heyman reports.

The Red Sox finished the season in the cellar of the AL East for the first time since 1992 with a 69-93 record after losing Wednesday night to the New York Yankees 14-2.

Before the game, Cherington would not discuss the status of the Red Sox's beleaguered first-year manager.

"I'm not going to talk about it," Cherington said. "We have a game tonight. We've said many times, Bobby's the manager of the team until the end of the year, and we'll talk about it after the season. That's what we'll do."

Valentine has had a trying first year with the Red Sox. He was hired to help revive an organization that was eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the season in 2011 after a September collapse. Instead, because of injuries, a lack of pitching depth and underperformance, Boston has lost its most games since 1965.

On Wednesday, Valentine told Boston radio station WEEI that some of his coaches were not loyal to him and undermined him at times this season, his first as a major league manager since 2002.

He did tell reporters before the game at Yankee Stadium he thought the friction with the coaches had little to do with the team's struggles.

"There's situation during the year I didn't think it was all for one or one for all, whatever it is," Valentine said. "I don't really remember specifically. ... It was just a feeling."

Cherington says he wasn't aware of the problems. But pitching coach Bo McClure was fired in August.

"If he feels that way I'm sorry he feels that way," Cherington said. "I'm not in his office all the time. I'm not in the clubhouse all the time so I don't know what he exactly was referring to. He's got a right to his opinion."

Valentine also said he regrets a few things he did this season, including his management of the bullpen early in the season when closer Andrew Bailey was hurt, one of 27 Red Sox to spend time on the disabled list in 34 stints, the most by any team since at least 1987, according to STATS LLC.

The often outspoken and manipulative Valentine wished he did not make the negative comments about popular infielder Kevin Youkilis during the morning drive in April. He was surprised by the reaction it got.

Looking ahead, Cherington said the team has talked to injured David Ortiz and outfielder Cody Ross, both free agents to be, about returning.

"David is a priority, and we've talked to Cody Ross also," Cherington said. "I'm not going to comment anymore other than that, just to say we're talking to those guys. David is someone that we feel strongly about bringing back, and we're trying to figure out a way to do that. Cody fit in well and had a good year. It's an area of need going forward."