Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Associated Press
BOSTON — Red Sox owner John Henry is backing Bobby Valentine in his first season as manager while Boston hovers around the .500 mark.
Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine
In this May 5, 2010, photo, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry walks on the field before a baseball game between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels in Boston. In an e-ail to reporters, Henry voiced his support for Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Henry said on Monday that management is not making a managerial change, and he cited numerous injuries as one reason for the team's struggles.
In an email to reporters, Henry said that it is "simply wrong" to blame Valentine for the team's troubles and "we all" share responsibility. He also said there has been no lack of effort by players.
The Red Sox have spent most of the season in last place in the AL East and have never been in first or second. A total of 23 players have spent 27 stints on the disabled list, both the highest on the team since 1971.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington also voiced his support for Valentine.
"Bobby's our manager, and we're not looking at anyone else," Cherington said in the Boston dugout before Monday night's game against the Texas Rangers. "He's as committed to managing the team as he ever has been, and we're committed to him and trying to do everything we can to support him and make this work.
"We've got to perform better as a team, and there are a lot of people here responsible for our performance. I am, the front office is, Bobby is, the coaching staff, the players," Cherington said. "Collectively, we're not performing the way we expect to, and that's on us collectively to figure it out."
Here's the full text of Henry's e-mail to reporters:
"I've gotten questions about Bobby and about ownership from you so I'll say the following on the record.
"To blame Bobby Valentine for the Red Sox being .500 at this point in the season is simply wrong. A lot has been written about injuries to key players this year. The impact of that on the Sox this year should not be discounted.
In baseball, managers often get too much credit and too much blame for what happens on the field. That seems to be a constant. There is often the thought in organizations, "This isn't working so the manager needs to go." But an organization is much more than the field manager. We all share responsibility for the success and failure of the Boston Red Sox. We are not making a change in manager.
There has been no lack of effort from our players and we have had a number of them playing hurt. I watch every game and the effort our players put in night after night is very clear to see.
In regard to the notion that we have somehow not empowered Bobby, you should ask him directly about that. We have been nothing but supportive of him inside and outside of the clubhouse. Stories that imply otherwise are due to speculation that is not warranted at all by the facts.
And the notion that we are not present and not attending games is misleading to the public. Tom, Larry and I seldom miss home games. This year is no different. We seldom miss a telecast when on the road if we aren’t there. This is a 365-day-a-year sport for us – as it is for Ben and for Bobby. Even when we are away we discuss issues daily. Just because we aren't answering all media questions doesn't mean we aren't on the job. We are.
Our commitment to winning is unabated. That is our focus. We continue to have the 2nd highest payroll among the 30 clubs. We have been at this for more than 10 years in Boston, and winning is just as much our focus today as it was when we took over."