After the team’s worst season in decades, Stamford native Bobby Valentine is no longer with the Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox announced on Thursday afternoon.
“Bobby Valentine will not return as #RedSox Manager in 2013. EVP/GM Ben Cherington to lead managerial search,” a Tweet from the team said.
He had one year left on his two-year contract.
The search will begin immediately, according to a news release from the Red Sox.
The team also posted the announcement on its Facebook page, generating more than 1,000 comments in just minutes.
"Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons,” Executive Vice-President and General Manager Ben Cherington said in a news 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 news of Valentine leaving came after a 14-2 loss on Wednesday night to the New York Yankees.
Valentine lasted one season as manager of the Red Sox, replacing Terry Francona, who led Boston to two World Series wins.
Some fans took the opportunity to say they want Francona back.
Valentine was hired by Boston in 2011, nine years after managing the New York Mets.
The Sox ended the regular season with 69 wins and 93 losses.
“This year’s won-loss record reflects a season of agony,” Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino said in a news release. “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 past 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. I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute to the game he loves so much and knows so well.”
According to John Henry, principal owner of the Sox, Valentine handled the news well.
The Associated Press spoke with ESPN about Valentine's next move and reports that it will not likely that he will return to his old gig as a baseball analyst for the sports network.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said Thursday that the network is was happy with its current crew of baseball analysts. That crew currently includes Francona.