With yesterday's firing of Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure, most of today's conversation has focused on McClure's relationship with Bobby Valentine.
This morning on ESPN Boston, Gordon Edes has a story in which he cites an assortment of jabs Valentine's taken at McClure over the last month or so. One was in an interview a few weeks back, when Valentine "accidentally" referred to McClure's time away from the team (to tend to medical emergency with one of his children) as a "vacation." There was another incident over the weekend when Valentine was discussing his coaching staff with the media and never even mentioned McClure's name. Finally, there are rumors that Valentine hacked into McClure's Twitter account while the pitching coach was asleep on the team bus and posted a series of Tweets, including: "God, it's been three weeks since my last shower! LOL" and "Don't tell my wife, but I'm gay." (OK, I made up that last part.)
Anyway, it's no surprise that these two didn't like each other. We've been hearing about their disconnect since the season began. Now the disconnect has been disconnected, and as usual, we're looking for someone to blame.
And as usual, I have one very clear answer: Larry Lucchino
You can say all you want about the idiocy of asking coaches who had worked for and respected Terry Francona to make a seamless adjustment into life under Bobby Valentine, but the thing about McClure is that he wasn't even one of Francona's guys. He was hired in November, a full month after Francona was fired.
In reality, there was plenty of time to find a manager and then find a pitching coach who suited his strategy and personality.
But in typical Lucchino fashion, it wasn't about what made sense. It was about conducting the most long-winded and public managerial search this side of American Idol. And by the time the Sox hired Valentine there was barely time to find a pitching coach that made sense for everyone involved. That left Boston to promote McClure from his original position as minor league instructor, and kick start the rocky relationship which has finally and thankfully come to an end.
Can't wait for next offseason when we can all go through it again.
(Anyone heard the rumor that Luchhino's looking to hire Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez to choose the next Sox manager and pitching coach? I'm still working to confirm.)