Bobby Valentine failed from the start

Updated: October 4, 2012, 11:43 AM ET
By Buster Olney

NEW YORK -- Before his final game as the Boston Red Sox manager Wednesday, Bobby Valentine walked around the field during batting practice to speak to each of his players, starting at third base and moving to shortstop and eventually making his way to the outfield. He offered handshakes and hugs in what they all certainly understood was a goodbye.

It may have been his best moment with the Red Sox, and it's unfortunate that it came at the very end, long after his future as manager had been decided. Typically, Valentine had mitigated any good feelings earlier in the day by saying on radio that his coaches undermined him -- an honest answer and completely unnecessary and senseless, because it changed nothing other than to slime people who could be looking for jobs in the days ahead.

We can all wonder why Valentine would say what he said, and join the legions of employees in the Red Sox organization -- those in uniform and those out of uniform -- who have asked the same question time and again, since the very first days of spring training. That's when Valentine's tenure as an effective leader of this team ended just as it began, on a practice field at the team's spring training facility.