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Although Cherington openly conceded the season, Valentine refused to do so. Asked during his weekly radio show if he had “checked out,” Valentine jokingly said he should punch the host in the nose. (He showed up for their next interview with boxing gloves.)

In mid-September, with Boston’s Triple-A team in the playoffs and reinforcements scarce, Valentine called the Red Sox “the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball.”

Again, he was forced to backtrack.

(But, again, he was probably right.)

Ultimately, Valentine will be judged on his record.

And it was dreadful.

By the time the contenders were setting their postseason rosters for the Aug. 31 deadline, Cherington knew the Red Sox were not among them and unloaded some of the more onerous contracts on the books.

The Red Sox finished the season to forget by losing 12 of 13.