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Henry, Cherington insist Seattle trip not to oust Valentine

SEATTLE — Principal owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington have joined the Red Sox here. But both said their trips were arranged before the team’s six-game losing streak, and not to dismiss manager Bobby Valentine, as some have speculated.

Valentine had breakfast with Henry this morning. This afternoon, Valentine remains the manager of the Red Sox.

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Henry did not hold a press conference. But he spoke to several reporters individually and made it clear that he is not here to fire Valentine. It appears for now that Valentine will remain on the job at least through the end of the season.

Cherington, who did meet with reporters, said it was “tough to watch” what was going on. But he said the losing streak was a product of the roster and the team’s desire to evaluate young players.

“Nothing is up,” Cherington said via e-mail when asked if his visit involved the status of manager Bobby Valentine.

Cherington and the owners have said several times that Valentine will finish out the season and then be evaluated. They seem to be sticking to that plan.

There are 27 games remaining in the season.

Cherington said that while wins and losses are the bottom line, it’s hard to use the team’s record to evaluate the squad or Valentine. He is looking at how the team prepares for games, how the roster is utilized, and other factors.

The subject of Valentine’s future with the Red Sox has been a hot topic all summer. The team has played poorly this season, with a record under .500, and the first-year manager has at times struggled to communicate with his coaches and players.

Henry defended Valentine to reporters with a letter in early August, but chairman Tom Werner in a recent interview was non-committal when asked about the manager’s future with the team.

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