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The Red Sox have done what most struggling ball clubs do when the realize that they suck, but don’t want to admit that they have more deep seeded issues: fire the guy who coaches the team’s most underachieving unit.In this case it meant giving walking papers to pitching coach Bob McClure.
The staff’s 4.30 ERA (23rd overall) gives the team justification to make the move, as does the poor performances by Beckett, Lester and Buchholz (and pretty much everyone else) this season. However, it’s somewhat interesting that the team used the “He’s not the one going out on the field and playing poorly” defense when it refused to even explore the notion of firing Valentine, then turns around the very next week and cans another coach for that exact same reason.
It’s not like McClure is in the dugout tipping pitches to the hitters, and I highly doubt he’s whispering to the guys to groove fastballs over the heart of the plate. Or maybe he was. Maybe it was all part of his diabolical plan to get Bobby V fired, which seems wholly unprofessional on McClure’s part, but so is a manager going on the radio and mocking his pitching coach for taking a leave of absence to go care for his ill infant child. That first unprofessional thing never happen. The second actually did.
Truth is Bobby V and McClure pretty much hated each other, and it has been made clear that this is Bobby’s team, meaning McClure was bound for unemployment. The fact that his staff is inferior to that of the Kansas City Royals only expedited the matter.
Randy Niemann, who coached under Valentine in New York, will take over as pitching coach and Bobby V will remain perched on his pine throne until every hotdog vendor in Fenway is fired.