October 24, 2012

How Can You Tell Bobby Valentine Is Lying? His Lips Are Moving.

On August 1, Bobby Valentine told this story:
It happened 2½ months ago [June 17]. ... [Will Middlebrooks] came into the dugout, he made a couple of errors, and I said, "Nice inning, kid." I had thought I had established a relationship with him where I could say something like that to him, kind of smile, relax him a little. Maybe he grimaced, I don’t know. Somebody overheard it and decided that it was a very dreadful thing for a manager to ever say to a young player ... That person didn't go to the locker room when I went to Will after the game and explained to him that I made three errors in a game when I was 21 years old and fans booed me off the field. And how I got through it and other people got through it and it's a great learning experience. I don't think Will has been mortally wounded by that 2½-month-old comment.
At the time, Middlebrooks said he had no recollection of the incident.

With good reason (maybe). Valentine told Bob Costas in an interview that aired last night that the incident never happened. There was no comment to Middlebrooks. There were no players overhearing. And no player went to the front office to complain. Costas failed to ask the blindingly obvious follow-up question: So why did you invent the story in the first place?

While Valentine was telling that lie back in August, he added that his error-filled game has happened on Seat Cushion Night at Dodger Stadium, and that angry fans threw seat cushions at him. Gordon Edes reports: "A newspaper account in the Los Angeles Times of the game in question made no mention of Seat Cushion Night or anything being thrown at Valentine."

Valentine also told Costas that he believed that David Ortiz quit on the Red Sox, refusing to come back from his Achilles' tendon injury during the final weeks of the season:
Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week. He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that this trade meant that we’re not going to run this race and we’re not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there.
Rob Bradford offers an excellent point-by-point rebuttal to Valentine's stream of bullshit. As far as the BV-WMB incident, Bradford believes it did happen.


allan said...

Two comments copied from the Blue Jays/Farrell post:

Tom DePlonty:

Other than the bit about Ortiz, there wasn't really any red meat in that interview (which I watched despite promising myself I wouldn't). NBC probably played that up before the show to get more eyes.

Even if Ortiz had shut himself down, that was the best thing for him and the team. Let an Achilles injury heal - no point in risking the rest of a career for a season that's already over, and we need his bat this season. Who cares what BV thinks.


Maxwell Horse:

I consider it meaty the fact that Valentine made it sound like someone else made up the story about Will Middlebrooks ("Nice inning, Will"), when in fact he himself provided that story on WEEI.

From that story arose a new wave of hatred for the players. "They're stabbing Valentine in the back! What babies! I'll bet it was Pedroia that snuck up the back stairs to tell on Valentine to the management!"

Now we're left with the very real idea that Valentine made up part or all of that story. I'm not sure people are grasping what a lying narcissist Valentine was.

We were left with this impression that the 2012 team was this bunch of traitorous, spineless babies. And yeah, I'm sure losing contributed to that, since losing makes everyone hate you. But at least part of that hatred and perception has been based on stories involving (or told exclusively by) Valentine.

I actually want Valentine to be torn apart Francona style here. It doesn't even have to be done in a dishonest way based on innuendo. I'd bet money if the simple truth and specifics of all these stories came out, that alone would be enough to show how skewed our perception of this season has been.

(Again, I'm not saying it's going to make us feel good about the season--since losing never feels good. I just hate the idea that the players have been painted as worse people than they deserved to be. All because of this "old school" reincarnation of John Wayne, or whatever the hell we were told he was.)


laura k said...

We were left with this impression that the 2012 team was this bunch of traitorous, spineless babies.


I just hate the idea that the players have been painted as worse people than they deserved to be.

Same here.

And I agree, why the hell shouldn't Ortiz take it easier at the end of the season? We don't cry about September call-ups or top pitchers resting more when the team is completely out of the race, so why should this bother us?

Thanks for copying these comments here, A. I would have missed them.

Jack said...

So did the Middlebrooks thing happen or what?

And while Middlebrooks took to Twitter Tuesday night to try and defuse the situation by also suggesting it didn't happen, the reality was that word had been passed throughout the clubhouse in the days following the June 17 incident that such an exchange had taken place.

Am I reading this wrong? It sounds like Bradford is saying the incident did take place...

Regardless, I'm very happy Valentine is out. This was one of the least enjoyable seasons I can remember.

FenFan said...

I feel less and less sympathy for Bobby as time passes. I don't blame him for losing 93 games with a team that was depleted of talent through injury and trade, but this "he said / she said" bullshit is tiresome.

allan said...

SoSher Tim Naehrings Girl, 3:51 PM:
"Bobby V on Dan Lebatard's local show in South Florida right now and he is saying that he never said that Ortiz quit on the team and it is the media stirring the pot. He said that Ortiz decided after the trade not to take the chance of ruining his career when it was clear they weren't going anywhere this season and Bobby V completely agreed with the decision"


Pulling the "I was misquoted" excuse when the goddamn line was part of a taped-and-broadcasted interview! What a clueless asstard.

Maxwell Horse said...

I'm actually glad that Valentine is pulling the "I was misquoted stuff." Because there are already idiots using his previous interview to be morons. "See! I told you Ortiz was faking his injurty!" Although it's probably not likely that Valentine's "clarification" of his earlier statement will cause them to reevaluate things.

9casey said...

Isnt he still being paid? I am surprised he can talk about the team at all.

Jere said...

One thing I've learned about Bobby V's stories: If he tells one, he's told it before, with different facts. In 1986 when Valentine was the Rangers' manager, a player made a big error, and Bobby told the story of the 3-error game then, too:

"'I told George the sun doesn't shine on the same dog every day,' Rangers manager Bobby Valentine said. Valentine remembers a game in 1971 at Dodger Stadium. Valentine made three errors at third base for the Dodgers that day. Every time the score was tied. Every time the New York Mets scored a run to go ahead. 'I got a standing boo when I came off the field in the seventh inning,' Valentine said. 'I asked Danny Ozark (the Dodgers' third-base coach) if he tought the name "Bobby Valentine" would ever be cheered at Dodger Stadium again. Walt (Alston, the Dodger manager) pinch-hit for me to lead off that inning. When Willie Crawford was announced hitting for Bobby Valentine, the crowd gave a standing ovation. Danny came over from the third-base coach's box and said, "See, already they are cheering your name."'"

Notes: The game wasn't tied when any of his errors were made. The first one made the score go from 1-0 to 2-0 Mets. Then next one came when it was 2-1 Mets and a run didn't score, and the third came later that inning and made it go to 3-1 Mets.

It was the 8th when he was booed off after making 2 errors that inning.

He was pinch-hit for by Buckner, not Crawford, to lead off the bottom of the 8th.

Crawford led off the 9th and had played the whole game, in RF.

And finally, he didn't think to mention the seat cushions in this telling.

Maxwell Horse said...

Working off of what Jere said, for me, I wouldn't mind if Bobby either made up or embelished that story to tell Middlebrooks by his locker as a "teaching moment."

What I find much more disturbing--and what I believe is probably the truth--is that Valentine completely made up talking to Middlebrooks by his locker at all. We're talking about layers of fiction built on layers of fiction. A guy making up a story about recounting a story to a player which itself was a made up story.

As I said before, I don't find this just a curiosity, but something genuinely angering. There were ramifications and fallout to these incidents. I remember after the Middlebrooks story there was lots of noise about what a "whiny crybaby" Middlbebrooks was, getting his feelings hurt, and how he should just suck it up like a man. And how it must've been Pedroia that went up the "back stairs" to management to stab Valentine in the back.

It really doesn't matter if Valentine--like the twist at the end of The Sixth Sense or the Usual Suspects, calling into question everything we'd been presented previously--cryptically admits that a certain story was made up. The public impression of the people involved (or not involved) sticks, regardless of any retractions.

(To digress: This is also why I'm convinced that if authorities just flat out publically admitted that 9/11 was a fraud, it wouldn't change any public opinion about the perpetual wars we're now engaged in. People would still think along the lines of, "Sure, 9/11 might not've been due to terrorists, but still, we need these wars to root out the terrorists that caused 9/11.")

9casey said...

So Booby V is Keyser Soze and he was dead when he planned 9/11?.......;)

Maxwell Horse said...


laura k said...

Then Keyser Soze videotaped the whole thing digitally, and no one cared.

This is also why I'm convinced that if authorities just flat out publically admitted that 9/11 was a fraud, it wouldn't change any public opinion about the perpetual wars we're now engaged in.

This is an interesting thought experiment. After being lied to so pervasively - after breathing and swimming in a culture of lies for their entire lives - what would people do when offered the truth?

The amazing thing to me is how many people actually do know that 9/11 was a fraud. They may have wildly different explanations for what really happened (which is understandable, the mind filling in blanks in pictures), but they know that what they are told happened wasn't it.

Digression? Moi?