Well good morning everyone I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! And today is December first which means that Christmas Day is right around the corner. But don’t forget tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. That’s right. Tomorrow is the day the Red Sox officially announce the hiring and signing of their new manager Bobby Valentine. The reaction has been mixed in the Boston area as people wonder if Valentine will be the savior of a once recently proud franchise that just had a 7-20 September a record of which no team has ever held a lead as large as they did at the time of the year and failed to make the playoffs. So who is Bobby Valentine? No he is not a casino owner in Foxwoods…not hardly.
Bobby Valentine most recently has been an analyst for ESPN and his remarks and analysis of teams and players through the years have been highly regarded by his peers. He seems to be a very knowledgeable person when it comes to talking…but can he coach? Well let’s look over his career first. After winning a minor league MVP in 1968, he was called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers. A major league average of 260…not eye popping. 441 career hits…not Hall of Fame material. Valentine made the Dodgers out of Spring training in 1971, and batted .249 with one home run and 25 runs batted in. The following season, he managed to play in 119 games by playing many different positions—including shortstop, second base, third and all three outfield positions. His batting average improved to .274 in 1972, but he was not showing his early promise as a major leagues player, and following the season, he was packaged in a trade along with Frank Robinson. After a stint with the Angles where he was just mediocre, he was traded to the Padres in 1975. Valentine only appeared in 66 games for the Padres when he was part of New York’s infamous “Saturday Night Massacre.” On June 15, 1977, the New York Mets traded Dave Kingman to the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Paul Siebert and Valentine, sent Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman, and Mike Phillips to the St. Louis Cardinals for Joel Youngblood. As his role diminished with the Mets he was released and signed with the Seattle Mariners and eventually retired in 1979 at the age of 29.
In 2002 he won the Branch Rickey Award given annually to a Major League Baseball player in recognition of his exceptional community service. Not
a bad achievement. How about his former managerial record? Well, with the Texas Rangers and New York Mets and the Chiba Lotte Marines was 1,117 wins and 1, 1072 losses for a .510 winning percentage. Again not coach of the year material but not a loser! He was once fired from Texas by Mr. George W Bush, former president. Sweet.
But what about his Japan managerial career? On October 17, 2005, he led the Marines to their first Pacific League pennant in 31 years after emerging victorious in a close playoff with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Nine days later on October 26, the Marines won the Japan Series in a four game sweep of the Hanshin Tigers for the first time since 1974. Not bad.
But today is today we are talking about the Boston Red Sox here…OUR team! With all of the locker room politics coming out after Terry Francona’s firing this team will be closely scrutinized especially in the upcoming season. Who will go? Who will stay? He seems to deal well with playes and the media, but has a reputation of conflict with other coaches and higher management. Is that a good thing especially in Boston where there is already managerial tension with several different owners? How will he manage? National league style? Japaneese style? Well my friends while you’re waiting for Spring Training Day which falls a few days after Valentine’s Day which we all will start thinking about shortly after Christmas Day and then New Year’s day just remember this. If it’s a bad year for the Sox, Valentine’s Day will soon be remembered as…The Valentine’s Day Massacre!