Boston made waves this week by signing Bobby Valentine as their new manager to replace the ultra-successful Terry Francona. As has been well documented, Boston had a collapse for the ages and rumors started to surface about behavior issues in the Red Sox clubhouse. In sports it is a known fact that once a coach or manager loses his voice with the team it is time for a change.
Bobby Valentine is exactly what the Red Sox need.
Valentine, whose last managerial job in America was with the Mets in 2002, is known to be as baseball savvy as any manager who has ever filled out a line-up card. He is as meticulous a manager as they come and it is certain if he gets out-managed it won’t be because of preparation or lack of attention to detail. The Job he did in New York when he averaged 87 wins, won two NL Wild Card berths, and took the team to the World Series was remarkable considering his personnel (his 1999 starting outfield consisted of Rickey Henderson, Brian McRae and Ronny Cedeno).
He knows how to get the most out of his team, and his mix of statistical knowledge and old-school baseball instinct should work well for the Red Sox and their brass, particularly in this age of sabremetrics. He’s all about accountability and it will be interesting to see how a player such as Josh Beckett responds to a manager who is as committed to fitness and the particulars of the game. He’s a players manager, and as long as you show up and perform to the best of your ability he will always have your back. There were some grumblings that some players were upset about the move and my response to that is those are players who probably aren’t ready to win. Because no one wins like Bobby Valentine, and if there is one thing that is certain, Joe Maddon has company in the eccentric manager department of the AL East now.