Sometimes you have to bunt. A pitcher is driving your hits into the ground inning after inning, and the double play is in order. The over-shift is on and you’re just not hitting well. The infield is playing way back to seal the holes for the lead-foot part of the line-up. If you don’t take what the defense gives you, you’re not competing.
The Red Sox could not compete in that way in 2011. They traded the best bunter they had–Marco Scutaro. The rest were an embarrassment when the situation demanded the bunt. The could not lay it down in fair territory. That put opponents on notice: no need to play the bunt.
Great news! The Red Sox were bunting in Spring Training today. Will it make a difference? Who knows? But Valentine has made a statement. The Red Sox will bunt when the situation calls for it. They will compete.
It’s a short distance and a shorter subject.