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.