November 22, 2011

Manager Search Down To Three: Valentine And Two Schlubs

The next Red Sox manager will be Bobby Valentine, Torey Lovullo, or Gene Lamont - an odd trio, for sure. Sox GM Ben Cherington conducted an all-day interview with Valentine yesterday, and said he was "highly intelligent, creative, open-minded."

[The interview was] totally different than anything I have ever gone through before and I would say if I look a little worn out it's because I sweat the whole day. I'm really excited about this and I haven't been as nervous for anything in a long, long time. It was invigorating, stimulating and all those good things. ... This is a great organization, with a great team, a great city and great ballpark. That is very attractive. I don't think anywhere else that there's been a job opening that my name has been mentioned there has been as many fabulous factors. ... If I was Plan B and I got this job, I would feel like it was Christmas and I was Plan A, the luckiest guy in the world. It would be cool.
Lamont (Tigers third base coach) managed the White Sox from 1992-1995 and the Pirates from 1997-2000. Lovullo (Blue Jays first base coach) managed the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2010.

Valentine says he would expect (and welcome) strategic advice from Cherington and the baseball operations staff:
I would hope for it. I haven't lived with it and I lived hearing about it and thinking about it. This is a growth opportunity for me. I want to understand what is going on in my life and my life is baseball. ... I was weaned on the idea, the concept, as a manager.
When Valentine managed the Rangers in the mid-80s, Craig Wright, an early sabermetrics pioneer, was on general manager Tom Grieve's staff. How big a role Wright played in Texas, and whether Valentine was open-minded then, I have no idea. I have never gotten the impression from Valentine's TV work that he subscribed to a lot of progressive ideas.

But, regardless, if those are the only men standing, then Valentine is our next manager. The front office has indicated that it wants an experienced skipper, with a strong personality (who rules with an iron hand?).

ESPNNewYork's Wallace Matthews says the Yankees should quake in their boots if the Red Sox hire Valentine. It would make Boston more dangerous than if they signed both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
[Valentine] knows baseball like no one else in the game and in the beginning at least, he energizes a team and a fan base. ... If he could coax a World Series out of that pretty ordinary Mets team [in 2000], imagine what he could do with the Red Sox roster? I think that even if the Red Sox don't do another thing this off-season, if they give Bobby Valentine the keys to the manager's office, they immediately become a lot more dangerous.
Of course, Matthews also believes Tim Wakefield works too slowly and is a bigger menace to the game than steroids.


laura k said...


Guess I'd better start getting used to this.

Although I have always had a huge dislike for Valentine and have always found him to be a Class A Idiot, I promise to keep an open mind, and judge him only by what he does in the present, not any incredibly stupid things he has done in the past.

Anyone want to join me in this pledge?

allan said...

I am so open-minded, my brain fell out!

Bob-bee! Bob-bee! Bob-bee!

9casey said...

laura k said...
I promise to keep an open mind, and judge him only by what he does in the present, not any incredibly stupid things he has done in the past.

I read this an hour ago , just regained consciousness...:)

Jim said...

"Anyone want to join me in this pledge?"
Yeah, I'm in--tabula rosa and all that.
In fact, I'm so sick of the Bobby-hype-and-spin already, I'm thinking of doing something I've never paid attention to before. The manager's post-game presser. Find whatever site (since we can't get NESN) that carries it complete and unexpurgated and watch it before I commence my morning reads of all the game reports. With that and actually watching the game, I may be somewhat spin-proof.
Can you tell I'm ready for Spring?

laura k said...

Jim, that's a great idea. I'm always spin-proof, as I don't read or watch any mainstream sports media.


Anyone who watches baseball with me knows I always identify "Mets Rejects". That is anyone who has ever played for the Mets. It's a NYC thing I can/will never shake.

Now I will be rooting for the biggest Mets Reject of them all.

FenFan said...

I sure do miss FJM.

Well, better Bobby V than... Grady Little?

allan said...

Bobby V for life > Gump for one week