Everything about Valentine looks fake. His tan may be real for all I know, but it looks sprayed on. He constantly does things to call attention to himself and show up his players, whether it’s threatening to punch out a radio host, batting Scott Podsednik (he of the 42 home runs in 4307 career plate appearances) in the power-hitting third spot as an implicit indictment of his usual middle-of-the-order guys, or leaving Jon Lester in a game to watch his ERA explode even after giving up nine runs in two innings. It’s just unbelievably depressing to watch. The players look at Valentine the way prisoners look at the trusty who snitched his way to the cozy library job. Dustin Pedroia, a guy the city once loved beyond all reason (and he seemed to love it back), looks like he would fall to his knees weeping in gratitude if he were traded to the Rockies, the Diamondbacks, the Seibu Lions, anyone – during games, you can almost see him looking up at the owners’ box expectantly, like he’s waiting for the good news.

If this were war, the players would have murdered Valentine in the foxhole months ago. In fact they apparently tried to do just that, at least once, but were rebuffed by management, which either out of cheapness or stubborness or both is apparently determined to let Bobby V ride out the season – and maybe keep him for next year, too.

"Until I’m more comfortable with some answers on what happened at the end of the year, I don’t want to have much to do with the organization and that’s a shame," Francona told the Globe on Tuesday. "With all the good things that were accomplished, I just feel pretty strongly about that.

"It was pretty raw at the end of the year. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of moving on from that. At the same time, I’m never going to forget that," Francona said, according to the report. "For me to go back and start waving and hugging, I’m just not comfortable doing that. I made it pretty clear to John Henry. When I told Larry that, he said, ‘Well, I haven’t talked to John about it.’ I said, well then how (expletive) important could it be?

"Why is Boston ultimately doomed? Who knows? … But John Lackey has more friends in that clubhouse than Jacoby Ellsbury does. I don’t care which of the sciences you believe in: That’s a bad sign."

"What an embarrassing way for the most successful nine years the Red Sox have had in a century to end, with a successful, likable manager having his personal life exposed to the public; the front office appearing small and vindictive, using the old playbook of running people out of town in order to desperately get in the last word and win the public; the players failing to live up to the standards that made them idols and champions; and most of all, virtually none having the class to rise above the anger and pettiness and ego that so often destroy the best times."

Wow. What a disaster. This team is a complete mess. Total abdication by everyone. And I’m so disappointed in Lester - thought he was better than that. Beckett and Lackey are hardly the ones to hitch your wagon to. Drinking beer and eating fried chicken during games while the team is falling apart kind of diminishes this. And this. Way to play hard for your second dad, Jon. Ugh.  

(Source: twitter.com)

"In the end, the disconnect was not between Epstein and Francona. It was between Francona and the club. And the manager knew it. In his eighth year, the skipper simply felt that his message was falling on deaf ears, even with players who had listened in the past. And given that communication is the cornerstone of the ability to work with a group of players in order to, as Francona often put it, “pull in the right direction,” that meant that the Red Sox skipper who had so often been so brilliant in that regard was no longer in position to do his job effectively. The results during the 7-20 month of September — a still-unfathomable stretch that will leave many Red Sox scratching their heads for months if not years to come — were bad enough. But when the Sox responded to a team meeting called by Francona on Sept. 7 by going 5-16 down the stretch, and amplifying the very behavior that the manager had meant to address, the conclusion became clear to all parties."