In the hours leading up to Wednesday's home finale against the Rays, Valentine said he hadn't pondered that it could be his last Fenway game as manager until a reporter mentioned it to him.
As for the barrage of injuries and a blockbuster trade that sent some key players out of town, Valentine didn't use those as excuses for his team's 69-86 record.
"All those variables are things I think I'm prepared to handle," Valentine said. "When I come back next year, I'll think I'm prepared to handle them. Hopefully we'll have better results."
Yes, Valentine did say "when" he comes back.
"There hasn't been any dialogue [with front office and ownership]," said Valentine, who has a year left on his contract. "We've talked, but [not about the job], which makes me think I'm coming back. I don't know."
It was mentioned to Valentine that he "got cheated" out of the typical experience of managing at Fenway Park, a venue which is usually filled with drama-filled victories and postseason runs.
"I got cheated? I don't know if I feel like I got cheated," Valentine said. "We didn't have it. That's for sure. I feel something, I feel bad that we didn't have it."
Did Valentine learn anything about himself during a trying season?
"I don't know about learning about myself. I have the gas masks. I can handle the chemical weapons. The bullets penetrated but they didn't kill me," quipped Valentine. "What do I know about myself? I'm almost a year older. I know that. And it's gone quickly."