After managing the Boston Red Sox to its worst season in 47 years, Bobby Valentine has been served his walking papers. His well-deserved walking papers, that is. After all, the Sox ended up with a 69-93 record, 24 games below 500, and in dead last in the American League East.
Compare that with last year, when the Sox ended the season with a 90-72 record, 18 games above 500. But despite last year’s infamous September debacle in which they won just seven of the last 27 games, the team did end up with a winning season. And they just missed making it into the post season.
Yet the highly regarded (by most) skipper, Terry Francona, who got the Red Sox into the World Series in 2004 and 2007 and, by the way, won both times, got canned.
This year’s Red Sox were never, ever in contention for the post season. There was a lot of tension between the players and the manager, and the team traded my most favorite Red Sox player, Kevin “Yooouuuuk” Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox, mostly because of Valentine’s negative atttidude toward Youk.
Winning only seven of their last 29 games, an even worse end than last year, the Sox culminated their miserable season by being ignominiously swept by the hated Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York.
So it is with no regrets and a renewed hope for the future that I bid adieu to Valentine. Buh-bye Bobby.
Yes, it has been a couple of months since I’ve posted anything political on this blog, but now that we are entering the home stretch in the presidential race, this is as good a time as any, I suppose, to get political again.
(How’s that for leveraging what you can’t deny to be an ingenious segue from baseball to politics?)
As much as it pains me to say so, Romney kicked Obama’s butt. He was succinct, articulate, confident, energetic, forceful, and engaging. Obama was none of these.
Despite being vague on details and essentially lying his ass off, Romney came across more
effectively than did Obama, who meandered his way through his answers without
any clear focus or passion.
I knew from the very beginning of the debate that Obama was in deep doo-doo. Romney looked directly at Obama during most his comments, whereas Obama tended to look at the moderator, Jim Lehrer, when he spoke, seeming to deliberately avoid eye contact with his opponent.
And while Obama could have gone after Romney on a whole host of things (e.g.,
the “47%,” “I don’t care about the poor,” Romney’s record at Bain for sending
jobs overseas, Romney’s low tax rate), he let Romney slide. Romney, on the
other hand, was in clear attack mode. He even threatened to kill Big Bird!
Debate moderator Lehrer didn’t help. Instead of asking specific questions or having each candidate discuss in detail his positions on various economic matters, he instead, and, in my opinion, inexplicably, asked each to explain the differences between his positions and those of his opponent. Lehrer ask too many of these way-too-open-ended questions, allowing both men to wander off on tangents and he rarely reinforced the need for either Romney or Obama to get back on target.
So who cares that Romney was spewing half-truths and outright lies? He sounded good and came across really well and, more important, he did a lot better than Obama. Will Romney do to Obama what the Yankees did to the Red Sox and sweep the debates? Will Romney’s performance in these debates turn his stalled campaign around? Will Obama be a one term president just as Bobby Valentine was a one-term manager?
There are two debates remaining in this three-game series. If Obama can bring his “A-game” next time, maybe he can bounce back. But if he plays it like he did in the first debate, Obama might just be swept, like the Red Sox were at Yankee Stadium, right out of the White House in November.