Bobby Valentine thinks he'll return

BOSTON -- A relaxed Bobby Valentine, in what could be his last day managing the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, said he has not yet been told by ownership whether he will return next season.

"My gut feeling is they haven't talked to me yet," he said. "There hasn't been any dialogue. We've talked, but not about that. Which makes me think I'm coming back. I don't know."

Valentine said he had not given any thought to Wednesday being his last day at Fenway until he was asked about it.

"I'm not getting fired today, if that's what you mean," he said.

When asked to assess the job he's done this season, Valentine said, "Obviously, it wasn't what I set out to do. When you don't accomplish what you set out to do, you feel like you haven't done a good enough job. It's simple."

After the Red Sox fell to 69-87 with a 4-2 loss to the Rays on Wednesday night, in their final home game of the season, Valentine was asked about his team's play at home this season.

"Disappointing," he said. "We didn't walk off many and we didn't score enough runs here. We have a lot stored up for next year."

The Red Sox will have their first losing season since 1997 and could finish with their worst mark since 1964.

Before the game, Valentine volunteered that there was "not much I would have done differently, I don't think, other than I think I would have kept the beer in the clubhouse. I could have used it after a few games this year."

Valentine revealed how much he has felt under siege at times this season while answering a question about what he'd learned about himself this season.

"I have the gas masks," he said. "I can handle the chemical weapons. A lot of the bullets penetrated, but they didn't kill me. I guess I'm -- what do I know about myself? I'm almost a year older. I know that, and it's gone quickly."

But he also graciously thanked the members of the media assembled in the interview room.

"I would just like to thank you all, or at least most of you, for your professionalism this year and your willingness to put up with all of the stuff that goes on every day on a day-to-day basis, and wish you all great health … great health to you and your families, and enjoy. Because it is the last day this year," Valentine said.

Asked about the "variables" he encountered as manager this season, Valentine said: "All those variables are things I feel I'm prepared to handle. When I come back next year, I think I'm prepared to handle them. Hopefully, we'll have better results."

Red Sox owner John Henry has said the team will wait until after the season to make a decision on whether Valentine will return for the second year of his contract.

Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com contributed to this report.