Bobby Hodgson is presiding over a fucking mess of epic proportions. He was supposed to manages egos. This team has very different problems than what he was brought in to fix.
From an outside perspective, I don't think your pitching is there at the moment, which is crucial in the AL East. It might come back in mid-season, but it always was looking like it might be an issue with Lackey out, Buchholz returning from Tommy John surgery, Bailey being injured, Bard being shifted from bullpen to rotation etc. The team ERA is the second worst in the AL behind Tampa Bay (who can probably thank Joel Peralta for that
). You've also have had a lot of injuries. Most of your injured players aren't back until near June. 7 of the 10 players you currently have injured are pitchers and two of the non-pitching absentees are Ellsbury and Crawford, which have deflated your outfield hitting options.
The players who are there, currently aren't helping themselves after what happened to Francona last season. And Valentine of course isn't helping things out by managing within the media and chirping in public about players at this stage of the season. Unlike Francona, he's not subtle, nor is he willing to take the pressure off others. Perhaps, he's felt after the beer and chicken episode that publicly criticizing veterans would work, but I think it's too early at this stage, even if the Red Sox are currently at the foot of the AL East standings. After all you were in a worse position at this point last season.Nor is it helpful to go to criticize someone through the media, which can only exacerbate things, rather than speaking to the player first in private. I think one of the bigger issues Henry and co. might re: next season is that many teams this year are already locking up their upcoming and future free agents to lengthy contracts. At present, the likes of Greinke, Hamels, League, Marcum and the surprising Lohse haven't been locked up, so they might be able to try and throw some money at that problem area.
I still won't be surprised if Valentine is dumped around the All Star break if things don't turn around. I've never understood why on earth he's given so much time within the baseball world. He talks a good game, but little else. His record as a manger isn't the greatest. Yes, he took the Mets to a World Series, but did so when they were hefty spenders. He's known for making stupid comments about players. He's known for doing stupid things like the fake moustache. Given that the Red Sox pushed hard to bring Farrell back from Toronto last season (which AA outright rejected) and wanted other candidates of a similar ilk like Dale Sveum, I could see Cherington being given a tad more license in the off-season to pick somebody who he wants and perhaps a quick rebuild on the cards.