Red Sox Rumors: Rift Forming Between Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington?


The Boston Red Sox face several roster decisions similar to those of the other 29 major league clubs.  Still, Boston’s situation is garnering more attention for several reasons, and it has Danny Knobler of wondering if a wedge is developing between Red Sox manager and GM Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington.

Managers and general managers of all 30 MLB teams disagree.  Each comes to the table sporting a different perspective and with their livelihood on the line.  Managers believe they know things GM’s don’t while GMs feel the same about their club’s skipper.

For this reason, it’s not out of the ordinary for Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and GM Ben Cherington to disagree on the handling of several players and positions.

Valentine would reportedly like to see Daniel Bard used as a reliever while Cherington wants to give the right-hander a shot as a starter.  Valentine is prepared to enter the season with Jose Iglesias as his starting shortstop and with Ryan Lavarnway on his 25-man roster.  Cherington believes each youngster could use additional seasoning at the minor league level.

Again, these disagreements are normal.  GM’s tend to look at things from a more financial point of view.  The Red Sox could save significant money down the road by delaying the free agency clocks of Lavarnway and Iglesias.  Also, Bard holds more potential value if he’s able to develop into a solid starting pitcher than if he was used as a late-inning reliever.

Managers want as much talent as they can get on their roster.  If Iglesias is ready to play and is better than Mike Aviles, he should break camp with the Red Sox.  Similarly, if Lavarnway is a superior option to current backup catcher Kelly Shoppach, he should be on Boston’s 25-man roster to start the season.  Sure Bard could be a starter, but Valentine is reportedly concerned with Boston’s bullpen and would like to return the flamethrower to his previous role.

So, while this situation is not abnormal, several surrounding factors make it more interesting than most spring training disagreements.  First of all, this is taking place in Boston and involves the Red Sox.  Also, both Cherington and Valentine are in their first years as GM and manager of the Sox.

What makes this most interesting, however, is that it’s been reported that Cherington didn’t support the hiring of Valentine this offseason.  According to Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe, the move was forced on the GM by Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino.

For this reason the situation and potential decisions could not only involve Cherington and Valentine, but also Red Sox ownership.  The Red Sox have kept things cordial publically, but this is certainly something to watch as Opening Day approaches.

For more on the Red Sox, be sure to check out BoSox Injection.

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