One year into the job, Bobby Valentine was fired by the Boston Red Sox Thursday after leading the club to its worst record since 1965.
The team announced the firing early Thursday afternoon in a press release.
"Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons," said general manager Ben Cherington in the release. "No single issue is the reason and no single individual is to blame. We've been making personnel changes since August and we will continue to do so as we build a contending club.
"With an historic number of injuries, Bobby was dealt a difficult hand. He did the best he could under seriously adverse circumstances and I am thankful to him."
The release said that Cherington would lead the search for Valentine's replacement. Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell, who has a year remaining on a three-year deal with the Jays, is the clear favorite to replace Valentine though the Sox will likely have to work out compensation with Toronto to hire Farrell.
Farrell served as pitching coach with the Red Sox from 2007 through 2010.
A year ago, Cherington compiled a list of a half-dozen candidates and seemed to be favor Dale Sveum's hiring, only to have his selection rejected by ownership. Days later, team president and CEO Larry Lucchino suggested Valentine be considered.
Valentine was hired on December 2. He had previously managed the Texas Rangers and New York Mets, along with two stints in Japan, where he won a championship with the Chiba Lotte Marines.
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"This year's won-loss record reflects a season of agony," said Lucchino in the team's statement. "It begs for changes, some of which have already transpired. More will come. We are determined to fix that which is broken and return the Red Sox to the level of success we have experienced over the last decade.
"Difficult as it is to judge a manager amid a season that had an epidemic of injuries, we feel we need to make changes. Bobby leaves the Red Sox' manager's office with our respect gratitude and affection."
Added chairman Tom Werner: "This season was by far the worst we have experienced in over 10 years here. Ultimately, we are all collectively responsible for the team's performance. We are going to be working tirelessly to reconstruct the ballclub for 2013. We'll be back."
"In our meeting with Bobby today," said principal owner John Henry, "he handled everything with dignity and class and it is deeply appreciated. Ultimately, we as owners are responsible for arming our organization with the resources -- intellectual, physical and financial -- to return to the levels of competitiveness to which we aspire and to which our fans are accustomed.
"Our commitment to winning is unwavering. It is a commitment to this team, to this city and to these fans who have supported us through thick and thin."
Henry added that the organization has "confidence in Ben Cherington and the kind of baseball organization he is determined to build."
Valentine said that he understood the decision.
"This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me,'' he said, "but I am as disappointed in the results as ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation. It was a privilege to be part of the 100-year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches. My best to the organization. I'm sure next year will be a turnaround year."