Grading Mr. Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine has had mixed results two months into the job.

One thing is for certain two months into the baseball season: The Red Sox are playing in the image of their manager.

Sometimes they are brilliant. Sometimes they are maddening. They have a propensity to do damage to themselves. And, good or bad, they are rarely boring.

The Red Sox finally climbed Mount .500 on Tuesday, even as another vital cog in the machine, Dustin Pedroia, went down with a potentially devastating thumb injury. Just another day inside Bobby V.’s complex Complex.

So what do we make of the manager at the two-month mark?

Is Bobby V. the master baseball mind, using unconventional methods to drag untapped potential from last season’s underachievers? Or is he the village idiot, past his prime and unable to connect to today’s player, breeding mistrust, controversy and ridicule?

On one hand, Valentine was handed a fractured clubhouse, a misshapen roster and an injury bug that would not die. He still has yet to get a game from Carl Crawford and Andrew Bailey and has had 2011 MVP runner-up Jacoby Ellsbury for about five minutes.

And yet, despite the gaping holes, Valentine has prevented the ship from sinking, creatively working rookie Will Middlebrooks into the same corner infield with Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez and somehow making it work. He has gotten the likes of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava to take on starring roles and helped develop pitcher Felix Doubront into a reliable major league starter. There is a resiliency to this team that is absolutely playing out in the image of its manager.

But Valentine, who has never met an opinion he didn’t like, has also alienated his stars, calling out Youkilis for no apparent reason in April and incurring the wrath of Pedroia in the process. He has looked lost at times with his management of the pitching staff and seemed helpless as the inmates ran the asylum, with Josh Beckett playing golf and Daniel Bard dictating his usage.

And yet, somehow, it all appears to be coming together. Like last season, the Red Sox are shaking off a dismal start and are showing signs of making a summer run at first place.

For now, call it an incomplete for Bobby V. But maybe, just maybe, the manager’s grade for September will be a bit more favorable this time around.

Boss’s approval

The heat is off manager Bobby Valentine … for now.

Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino had this to say regarding his manager’s performance on WEEI yesterday: “I thought (Valentine) was a convenient symbol for people. I don’t think it was certainly fair to focus on him (during the early struggles).

Dustin Pedroia will “be back a lot sooner than projected,” Valentine told WEEI yesterday. Pedroia injured his right thumb Monday against Detroit.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

By Alex DobuzinskisLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A one-time follower of mass murderer Charles Manson who in 1975 tried to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford told a…

Local

Mayor Marty Walsh's Reddit AMA: 5 things to…

Mayor Marty Walsh participated in a Reddit AMA - or "ask me anything" - session on Thursday and shared some of his insight and stories.

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

Television

TV watch list, Thursday, April 24: 'Parks and…

'Parks and Recreation' Leslie makes a big decision about her future in the hourlong season finale. Also, fans will finally get to see the big…

Going Out

A.R.T. artistic director Diane Paulus named to 'Time…

A.R.T.'s very own Diane Paulus has been named to the annual "Time 100," the mag's take on the 100 most influential people in the world,…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.