The real reason Valentine, McClure butted heads


The real reason Valentine, McClure butted heads

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.)

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10


Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.


Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.


Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.