My Belated Valentine To Bobby Valentine

I have spent the better part of a week commenting on other blogs about the opening days of the Bobby Valentine era as Manager of the Boston Red Sox.

I figured I better take a few moments to offer thoughts on MY site.

He was an awful hire.  I knew it the moment it was announced.  My jaw just recently unlocked itself from dropping when I heard he was actually a candidate for the position, much less the eventual hire.

I remain stunned the Red Sox franchise was so shortsighted as to hire this guy.  I have always felt his managerial career was overrated and his head inflated.  And after having been away from the Major Leagues for such a long time (don’t tell me being an analyst keeps you in the loop…not buying that)…he was the one chosen to take over a wounded organization that IMHO required strong, mature and initially at least…silent leadership to steer them out of the funk of not only blowing a playoff spot of historic proportion, but also having their commitment and professionalism questioned after the fact.

All the talk of “beer and wings” had pretty much died down before this chowderhead announced his “no alcohol” policy.  Look, these players were dressed down in public in the worst possible way after last September.  Valentine wasn’t there.  What you do when you get hired for a situation like this is step into the spotlight, introduce yourself…and then obsessively observe how your people go about their business.  You give the players an opportunity to clean up their own mess, police themselves…step up.  You guys are pros.  Show me.

You don’t dress them down at the very dawn of Spring Training by announcing a rule that directly correlates to what caused all the controversy previously…when again, Valentine wasn’t there.  We all know you’re in charge, Bobby.  All this PR event did was start up the bad vibes once again and show the players they weren’t trusted or respected enough to right the wrong themselves.

Professional management style.  No.

That apparently was just for starters.  Valentine now can’t stop talking about the Yankees.  Not this year’s version mind you, but he’s giving detailed analysis on their plays from 2001.  He commented Derek Jeter’s famous flip play in the AL Division Series was flawed.  He praised retiring Sox catcher Jason Varitek by pointing out Jason fighting Alex Rodriguez was one of his career highlights.  Varitek deserved better.

He didn’t say a controversial word in all his time at ESPN.  The Worldwide Leader should ask for at least a partial refund of his salary from his “analyst” days there.  They wish he stirred the pot this much at least once during his entire employment there.

If he hadn’t imposed the “booze ban” you might try to dismiss all the Yankee-bashing as his way of deflecting the spotlight away from his players and putting it all on himself.  That would also be a flawed argument because while with the Mets it was always about him…arrogant and pompous.  He couldn’t handle a drop of criticism there.  (Terry Francona felt that first-hand when he commented on the enactment of said alcohol policy)  He acted like he wrote the book on managing and no one else had a clue.  (Derek Jeter was in the wrong place on that play…)

For some inexplicable reason in the Boston franchise’s true time of need…they somehow managed to hire a clown instead of a champion.  If I’m walking into that clubhouse as their new skipper, I’m introducing myself to all and shaking hands with a firm grip, making direct eye contact…and then I am everywhere…eyes watching…eyes observing…who handles their business well and who doesn’t.  I learn as much as I can about the team and the players before I even begin to start laying down laws…and certainly before I start ramping up the rivalry…and tearing into the members…of the archrival Yankees.  Worry about your own team, Bobby…instead of just Bobby.

Quiet, strong, dignified…winning leadership was required in Boston.

It still is.

If this talented club does manage to win in a big way this year, I’m betting in a big way it will be in spite of Bobby V…not because of him.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
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23 Responses to My Belated Valentine To Bobby Valentine

  1. tophatal says:

    sports’

    It’s been rumored that Red Sox GM Ben Cherington will make a clown’s outfit available for Valentine’s personal use this season to entertain the team in the dugout and locker room . It may well prove to be the only true form of entertainment for the Red Sox faithful at Fenway Park .

    My thoughts on the pitiful Mariners if at all interested ?

    How High Would You Like My Boot To Go With Your Celebratory Ass Kicking … ?

    tophatal …………..

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  2. Tophatal, I am sure we’ll see him in a dugout this year dressed in something other than his authorized Boston uniform.

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  3. As I do not know anything about baseball, I’m going to leave a typical girl-comment here and say that you’re an incredibly creative writer…did you know that?

    Again, I don’t care what happens to the Red Sox, but I read your post…you pulled me in and kept me there. Brilliant.

    Just wanted to let you know that… 🙂

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    • Awww, PCC…back at ya. Love your writing as well. I still can hear that automated shopping cart in my head from your last post, however. You illustrated perfectly technology “advances” can be a bad thing on occasion.

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  4. Troy Beckman says:

    Still can’t believe anybody hired this blowhard as manager, let alone Boston. In case anybody forgot from his previous stints, he’s made sure everybody knows this is all about the Bobby V show and not the players.

    I almost feel bad for Red Sox fans. Almost…

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    • Troy, Bobby V is not only an enthusiastic and flamboyant person, but a magician of a manager who can make something out of nothing. And the Red Sox are something, believe me…

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    • Troy, I DO feel bad for the Red Sox fans because I have become one of them. They are the AL Team I now root for each season to meet the Phils in the Fall Classic. Love the passion of their fan base and draw similarities between the suffering they and we (in Philly) have gone through…before our respective payrolls blew up of course.

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      • Troy Beckman says:

        Now THAT’s unfortunate 🙂 I actually have a few friends who are Red Sox fans that are die-hard lifelong fans that experienced the suffering; I can appreciate and respect that. That’s the part of me that feels sorry.

        It’s also why I would like to see the Sox have a horrible year and realize how good they had it with Francona before they made him — and fried chicken and beer — the sacrificial lamb.

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      • That seems like a great possibility, Bruce. Last year, this prediction was made by many, but we saw that go up in flames.

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  5. Jup says:

    I think that my growing enthusiasm for Valentine is mostly because with every comment and rule he makes, we’re that much closer to baseball. He’ll probably wear on me quickly once the season gets underway. Needless to say, I don’t feel like the Sox front office has any idea what they’re doing right now. It’s a little chaotic around these parts…

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    • Jup, thanks for your comments. I was hoping you would check in on this. I had been bringing my Bobby V disgust up on your site as well as others…but hadn’t run with “the story” here. This week pushed me over the edge. IMHO the franchise needed no extra drama whatsoever entering 2012. That was a lock when Valentine was hired. I bet it is chaotic…

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  6. chappy81 says:

    I was happy they hired him. I think that’s the type of hire you make when you fire Epstein. I wish the Red Sox and Yankees would go away for a few years. It’s only spring training and we have to hear about their antics. Can’t they just have a quiet camp Bobby!?!

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    • Chappy, not only can’t training camp be quiet…but you have to know the TV partners of MLB will ramp up this rivalry to even higher volumes now…if that is possible. Just what the doctor ordered if you needed to hear even more about these two teams.

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  7. J-Dub says:

    Can’t wait for the Tito Francona “Miss Me Yet?” billboards to go up throughout greater New England…

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  8. Bobby Charts says:

    Yeah this was a very strange and very surprising hire for me at least. It’s going to be very interesting no doubt.

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    • Bobby, I think all of us will have an eye on the Red Sox this season. I don’t think that’s what they needed. They have enough pressure going into any campaign…but especially this one.

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  9. tophatal says:

    I see that Francona and Valentine have started off in a rather “testy way” ? No chance of an Obama intervention in terms of a sit down meet-n-greet with them getting together and sharing a few brews at the White House then ? Francona … ….” 10 Things I Currently Hate ’bout Bobby Valentine ” ! Insert your ideas below .

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    • Bobby V was doing all he could at ESPN to be “vanilla” so he could con someone into hiring him one more time. Mission accomplished. It is ironic Tito, who never would have engaged in a media war as a Manager, will now as a member of the media be free to declare “open season” on Manager Valentine. That would not be wise, however. Bobby V always gets the last say…no matter how crazy the conversation plays out.

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  10. Bobby’ll be giving shout-outs to the guys who had his back and the index finger to the guys who didn’t once his ESPN analysis starts this season .
    So will Greg Williams get a wrap on the knuckles from the “commish” or something far more serious ? And does that mean that he and Sean Payton will be now waging allout war against one another if the Saints are also punished in anyway ? And that same premise applies to the Redskins also . Your thoughts ?

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  11. So perhaps the over/under on his tenure there is 2 1/2 years?

    Which ya’ takin’?

    With the Sox still dysfunctional and the Yanks with no starting pitching, I’ll take the Rays in the East, not only because that’s the fashionable pick but also because I live here.

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    • Chris, I will take the under. He’s an older gentleman, removed from the MLB day-to-day for some time now as a Manager…and I don’t think he has the staying power in this 24/7, highly social atmosphere we all live in now. I have no problem at all installing the Rays in the East as the favorite. As you note, the Yanks have no rotation to speak of. You know how I feel about Valentine and what a circus the Sox will be this season. I love Joe Maddon. That’s a solid team by the Bay.

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