The Boston Red Sox will introduce former Mets/Rangers skipper and current ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine as their new manager on Thursday. Valentine beat out Gene Lamont for the position, according to sources close to the team.
Valentine played 10 seasons in the MLB, enjoying limited success. He began his managerial career in 1985 as a third base coach for the Texas Rangers. (Quick tangent: what, exactly, does the third base coach do? Is his only job to wave guys home and slap players on the ass after they hit home runs? Someone enlighten me). Bobby dubbed around in Japan for awhile, managing different teams in the Japanese Pacific League before eventually taking over the New York Mets in 1996. Besides a World Series appearance in 2000, Bobby enjoyed minimal success as a Met. His overall managing record hovers around .500.
If you know Boston sports fans, then you know .500 doesn’t cut it. Remember the mediocre Boston Celtics teams from the early 2000’s? How many planned attacks on Danny Ainge’s life were there? Remember when Tom Brady went down in 2008, and the Patriots went 11-5? Boston fans freaked out. OUR Quarterback got hurt? Noooo. That only happens to other teams! Boston fans are stubborn and shamelessly entitled, but hey, that’s just the way it is.
Valentine has a very intriguing job ahead of him. He has a team loaded with good track records and MVP candidates. He should have a healthy starting rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Bucholz (if I see John Lackey throw one more pitch, I’m lighting myself on fire). This team could be pretty good, hell, they were pretty good (89-73 ain’t bad for most franchises) even with that putrid September. So while this Boston Red Sox team is better on paper then those of Bobby’s ’99 Mets, they lack one thing that cannot be accounted for. Chemistry.
It became blatantly obvious last season that Terry Francona, a good skipper, had lost control of his ball club. He was buddies with some of the players. He allowed them leashes that were too long. His disciplinary techniques did not stop anyone from doing anything. They publicly nipped at one another. The bullpen looked disinterested in the outcome of most games. They didn’t function like a top ball club should.
Enter Bobby Valentine. Often looked upon as an old school, ‘no nonsense’ manager, Bobby is, perhaps, exactly what the doctor ordered for this squad. Maybe they need a kick in the pants to keep them focused on the task at hand- winning the AL East.
There is a rumor out there that some players were disgruntled with GM Bob Cherington’s decision to hire Bobby. Just think, if you were a student in school, and your whole life you had had happy-go-lucky teachers who went on field trips, didn’t enforce any rules, and didn’t give any homework, and suddenly you were assigned a professor who dropped pop quizzes and 8 page papers on you… you wouldn’t be crazy about the change either. But, would you learn more? I say so.
Looking forward to the 2012 Boston Red Sox.
In other news… Ohio State stomped on Coach K and company 85-63 yesterday. Big ol’ Jared Sullinger led the way with 21 points and 8 rebounds. The Buckeyes look dominant. Ndamukong Suh has been suspended for two games for stomping on a Packer offensive lineman… and is appealing the suspension! How dare he? I think it is fair to say that Suh is a dirty, and sometimes unintelligent, player. Speaking of the Cheeseheads, the Packers are undefeated and are knocking on the “16-0” door. Of course, we all know how that went last time a team went undefeated in the regular season…. We are in the climax of the college football season – we are at the point where non contenders begin to fire their coaches. This seems to happen every year around this time. Bernie Fine continues to disgust more and more people across the country for his monstrous behaviors. And last, but not least, NBA trade rumors continue to swirl. Names like “Paul”, “Dwight”, and “Rondo” are being tossed around like rag dolls. Stay tuned.