(Reuters) - Bobby Valentine was fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday after just one season in charge.
The Red Sox announced that Valentine's brief tenure was over after meeting with him on Thursday morning, the first day after Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2012 regular season finished.
It was widely expected that Valentine, who had a two-year contract, would be axed since the Red Sox endured a miserable season, compiling at 69-93 record to finish at the bottom of the American League East standings.
"This season was by far the worst we have experienced in over 10 years here," Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said in a statement. "Ultimately, we are all collectively responsible for the team's performance. We are going to be working tirelessly to reconstruct the ball club for 2013. We'll be back."
Valentine was named Red Sox manger last December, replacing Terry Francona who left the club after Boston suffered one of the greatest late-season collapses in MLB history.
Leading their division by nine games heading into the last month, the Red Sox lost 20 of their last 27 games to miss out on the playoffs.
They earned the dubious distinction of the most awful final-month crash, a misery compounded by their status as pre-season favorites to win the World Series after a massive spending spree and a $161 million payroll.
Valentine, who spent a decade playing in the major leagues before turning to management, was brought in to try and turn the team around but the Red Sox performed even worse this season, losing 21 more games than in 2011.
"I understand this decision," said Valentine. "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."
(Reporting by Julian Linden in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. Check for restrictions at: http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp