An unfunny Valentine for Red Sox

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,MLB,Jeffrey Tomik

It was only one season, but Bobby Valentine really left his mark on the Boston Red Sox.

He took over a 90-win team and turned it into a 69-win club. For the first time since 1992, the Red Sox finished last in the division.

The struggles forced a roster shakeup that sent former All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers to save $250 million in future salaries. Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, was Boston's best bat. Beckett was the ALCS MVP during Boston's World Series run in 2007. And Crawford has been mostly a bust but still has the potential to be an impact in the outfield and on the base paths.

Also gone is longtime Red Sox fan favorite Kevin Youkilis, whom Valentine openly criticized, saying he didn't think Youkilis was "physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past."

With the White Sox, Youkilis had 15 home runs and 46 RBIs in 80 games.

The moves may have saved money, but they also were a sign of rebuilding -- something the AL East powerhouse hasn't fathomed this century.

Valentine isn't all to blame. He did inherit a club that went 7-20 in September to fall out of the playoffs in one of the most epic collapses in baseball history.

But Valentine took a bad situation and turned it into a catastrophe.

So where do the Red Sox go from here?

They still have 29-year-olds Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia to build around for the near future. And David Ortiz is still productive. But the pitching staff is stuck with big-name underachievers like Jon Lester and John Lackey, who missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

It's a roster that won't be able to compete in the challenging AL East.

The Curse of the Bambino lasted 86 years. How long will Valentine's curse last?

- Jeffrey Tomik

jtomik@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Jeffrey Tomik

Sports editor
The Washington Examiner