SALEM Bobby Valentine appeared relaxed, comfortable, and animated. He was effusive, engaging, and loquacious. It was a version of Valentine that Red Sox fans rarely got to see this past season. I didn't get a chance to rattle on during the season because they wanted a quieter, calmer version of Bobby Valentine, Valentine said, wrapping up after almost 90 minutes Thursday night as part of Salem State Universitys speakers series. Valentine entertained the crowd of about 800 with stories from his life in baseball, including his one year as the manager of the Red Sox before he was fired on Oct. 4, the day after the season ended with the Sox in last place in the American League East, their record of 69-83 the worst since 1966. Hes confident the last year will lead to better things for him. Something really good is going to happen in my life because of the experience I had this season, he said. People say, Oh, yeah, you had 69 good days. But there were more. Since then, he said hes been doing greatI have a million plans, running around the country, trying to make my life worthwhile. Although he did not get into specifics about what is next for him professionally, Valentine, who has always been very involved in charitable works, is planning to help with the relief efforts in New York and New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In December, he will rappel down the side of the tallest building in his hometown of Stamford, Conn., as a charitable fundraiser. He will be dressed as an elf. Along with himself, Valentine said he thought the 2013 Red Sox team would be better because of all the adversity the 2012 edition faced, as long it can stay healthy. I think the team is going to be better because of all the nonsense this year, Valentine said. That group of guys shouldnt be defined by their record because there were some great efforts. Valentine spoke from a stage inside the OKeefe Sports Center. He was accompanied by Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons, acting as the interviewer. After about an hour, Valentine took some questions from the audience. Valentine offered no major insights or answers on the disastrous season, saying Im one of those guys I dont look back. I dont do rewind Ive moved on where I wake up in the morning and I think its going to be the best day of my life. Things didnt go the way I wanted, no doubt about it. They didnt go the way you wanted, but every day I gave my best damn effort. Valentine also offered some thinly veiled jabs. About his successor, John Farrell, he said: I dont know him from Adam. Everyone tells me hes a good guy, gets along with the media and the front office. Thats a good start. No doubt a reference to his strained relations with the front office. He also said: I had a back-up catcher, I wont say who, he always wanted to know when he was going to play. Once a week. Be ready to play. That would be Kelly Shoppach, who was traded to the Mets in August for right-hander Pedro Beato. About the communication snafus that happened throughout the season, Valentine said its not always necessary for everyone to know everything, including himself. But, "attitude filters down. Information doesnt always have to. A questioner from the audience began to ask what it was like watching Daniel Bard slowly implode. Valentine quickly interjected, You thought that was slow? The quip drew laughter from the crowd, as did many of his stories. But Valentine also said I think Bard will be alright next year, though. He praised coaches Randy Niemann, and Jerry Royster, for his work with third baseman Will Middlebrooks and shortstop Mike Aviles, and former hitting coach Dave Magadan, whom he said will leave a big void with his departure to Texas. Valentine said he did not support the decision to fire pitching coach Bob McClure. Without singling out anyone in particular, he said, you need coaches who speak your own language. Valentine wrapped up his talk, saying If you really want to be successful, there are three Rs of success: Responsibility, respect, and reality We have to be responsible to each other and our society, we have to respect one another, and we got to deal with reality. Change is not something anyone likes, but it is time to change. With that, he wrapped up his session.
Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:
* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.
* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.
* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.
* “That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.
* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.
* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.
* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.
1) Rick Porcello
Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.
2) Xander Bogaerts
Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.
3) Dustin Pedroia
In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.
First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:
Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.
Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.
The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.
One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.
Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.
Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.
It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.
Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.
In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.
Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.
Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.
Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.
Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.
That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.
Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.
Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.
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