NEW YORK — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine’s job was safe for at least one final game.
General manager Ben Cherington would not discuss the status of the Red Sox’s beleaguered first-year manager before Boston’s season finale against the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
“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, 69-92 entering Wednesday. He was signed to a two-year deal 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 and finished last in the AL East for the first time since 1992.
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.”