The Boston Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine on Thursday after one season in which he failed to bring order to a clubhouse that disintegrated during the 2011 pennant race.
Valentine finished with a record of 69-93 on a team that was beset by injuries before management gave up on this season and traded some of its best players — and biggest salaries. Without Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, the Red Sox will save $250 million in future salaries and have a chance to rebuild over the winter.
But that will be too late for Valentine.
A baseball savant who won the National League pennant with the New York Mets and won it all in Japan, Valentine was brought in after two-time World Series champion Terry Francona lost control of the clubhouse in 2011 during an unprecedented September collapse.
But the players who had been coddled under Francona bristled under Valentine’s abrasive style and, more importantly, didn’t win for him, either.
“Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons,” General Manager Ben Cherington said. “No single issue is the reason, and no single individual is to blame.”
The Red Sox used 56 players in 2012, the most in club history.
Gonzalez wins award
Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez won the 2012 Warren Spahn Award in a tiebreaker over Tampa Bay’s David Price.
The award is given to the top left-handed pitcher in the major leagues using a formula based on wins, strikeouts and ERA.
The Warren Spahn Board of Directors said Thursday that Gonzalez and Price tied — with Gonzalez winning the tiebreaker of most wins. Gonzalez’s 21 wins were one better than Price, who won the award in 2010.
The award is named for hall of fame pitcher Warren Spahn, who had 363 victories, and is presented by the Bricktown Rotary Club of Oklahoma City and the Jim Thorpe Association.
The Seattle Mariners will not retain hitting coach Chris Chambliss for 2013 after another season during which their offense was among the worst in baseball. … The Royals have chosen not to renew the contract of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. … The Philadelphia Phillies promoted hall of famer Ryne Sandberg to their coaching staff as third-base coach and infield instructor. The Phillies also promoted Steve Henderson to hitting coach and Rod Nichols to bullpen coach. … The Minnesota Twins fired five coaches and their head athletic trainer. Longtime bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, bench coach Scott Ullger, third-base coach Steve Liddle, first-base coach Jerry White, hitting coach Joe Vavra and head athletic trainer Rick McWane did not have their contracts renewed for 2013.
Dodgers complete trade
The Boston Red Sox acquired right-hander Rubby De La Rosa and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands from the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete the teams’ Aug. 25 blockbuster trade.