USA TODAY US Edition
Valentine’s day in Boston for 1-5 Red Sox
It could be worse for Bobby Valentine — barely.
The Boston Red Sox manager heads into his first home game on the job today, against the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays, and his team has the worst record in the major leagues.
“That’s not the road trip we want,” Valentine said of the 1-5 start in Detroit and Toronto.
It was a 0-6 road beginning to last season that was as much a factor in Boston falling one game short of the playoffs as the 7-20 finish that cost Terry Francona the job Valentine now holds.
Francona joked last year that he was “wondering if (fans) were going to shoot us,” when the Red Sox lined up for pregame introductions.
“It’s like a reset for everybody,” designated hitter Da- vid Ortiz says.
But last year’s team beat the New York Yankees in the opener, even won two of three games in the series, before sliding to 2-10.
Since Sept. 1, Boston has won eight of 33 games.
Today’s starting pitcher, Josh Beckett, said at the start of spring training that the team had to earn fans’ trust again. Pitching, though, has been the least trustworthy on the field this season, allowing a major league
worst 6.3 Yankees well-trained in matters of media, 4C Jamie Moyer still seeking win for the aged, 4C runs a game.
Beckett allowed seven runs in less than five innings in his first start, including five home runs. That’s three more than the Red Sox have hit a major league low.
“We’ve got a homestand coming up, and we’ll try to see if we can get things going in the right direction,” Valentine says.
It won’t be easy: The nine games are vs. Tampa Bay, the Texas Rangers and the Yankees, all playoff teams last year.