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Red Sox fire Valentine after woeful season

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 2:50 p.m.
This April 17, 2012 file photo shows Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine walking back to the dugout after removing starting pitcher Jon Lester during the third inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox fired Valentine on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, after one season in which he failed to bring order to a clubhouse that disintegrated during the 2011 pennant race. (AP)

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox thought Bobby Valentine would restore order to a coddled clubhouse that disintegrated during the 2011 pennant race.

Instead, he only caused more problems.

The brash and supremely confident manager was fired Thursday, the day after the finale of a season beset with internal sniping and far too many losses. Valentine went 69-93 in his only year in Boston, the ballclub's worst in almost 50 years.

“I understand this decision,” Valentine said in a statement released by the team. “This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation. ... I'm sure next year will be a turnaround year.”

A baseball savant who won the NL pennant with the New York Mets and won it all in Japan, Valentine was brought in after two-time World Series champion Terry Francona lost control of the clubhouse during an unprecedented September collapse.

But the players who took advantage of Francona's hands-off approach to gorge on fried chicken and beer during games bristled at Valentine's abrasive style.

The team's top target is current Toronto manager and former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell.

Giants uncertain about rotation

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said Matt Cain will pitch Game 1 against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and left-hander Madison Bumgarner will go in Game 2 on Sunday of the National League division series. But he said he's not certain what he'll do beyond that.

Phillies add Sandberg to coaching staff

The Philadelphia Phillies promoted Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg to their coaching staff as third-base coach and infield instructor. Sandberg had spent the past two seasons managing Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Gonzalez wins Warren Spahn Award

Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez won the Warren Spahn Award in a tiebreaker over Tampa Bay's David Price.

The award is given to the top left-handed pitcher in the major leagues using a formula based on wins, strikeouts and ERA.

Minn. lawmakers seek Gehrig's records

Some Minnesota lawmakers are looking to force the release of Lou Gehrig's medical records, saying they might provide insight into whether the Yankees star died of the disease that now bears his name or from repetitive head trauma.

Their effort comes despite opposition from Mayo Clinic, which holds the records, and skepticism from experts that the records would prove anything.

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