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Should the Mets hire Bobby Valentine?

Apr 16, 2010, 8:14 AM EDT

Bobby Valentine 2.jpgNice game for the Mets last night, but it’s only one game. The rotation still has problems and it’s not unreasonable to assume that the team will continue to struggle in the early going with tough series against the Cardinals, Cubs, Braves and Phillies.  If they do struggle, it’s not unreasonable to assume that Jerry Manuel will be fired.  If he is fired, who replaces him?

My favorite candidate — one I picked almost solely because I was drinking in his bar earlier this week and it seemed like a good idea at the time — is Bobby Valentine. He’s back in the States. He really isn’t doing much else. He’s well thought-of in New York and would probably get the fans excited again, at least for a little while.  It’s the kind of move that would take the tabloid heat off the team for a bit to boot, and that’s a consideration that’s always on the table in New York.

The only thing giving me pause about it is that Mike Lupica came out this morning strongly in favor of the idea, and since he tends to be wrong about everything there must be something wrong with the idea of Bobby Valentine coming back to Queens. We’ll let that go for a minute on stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day theory.

So that’s my “should.” Will they do it?  Hard to say. They have another candidate in house in former Diamondbacks’ manager Bob Melvin, who was hired as a “scout” this winter, but who may really be there simply so he’s close by if and when Manuel gets canned.  There’s a pretty small but pretty vocal Wally Backman fan club too. I’ve never been all that impressed with either of those guys, but you have to figure there names would be in play.

So what do you think? Is Valentine your guy? Melvin? Backman? Should I just shut up about it and wait until Manuel is actually fired? Or are the Mets going to go on a tear, make the playoffs and render these sorts of conversations moot? 

  1. Benny Blanco - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    I have to agree with you on this one Craig. I was a big fan of Bobby V back in the day. Loved when he was thrown out of a game and came back wearing a fake mustache.
    I have heard really good things about Wally Backman as well. Sometimes a team needs new blood at manager. Feels like either would be an approvement. As a Met fan, I wouldnt be dissapointed with either one.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    As Benny Blanco [From the Bronx] mentions above, agree with you Craig. Unfortunately though, if Lupica likes it, you must do the complete opposite. =\

  3. Joel Friedman - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    “but you have to figure “THEIR” names would be in play.
    The only name that should be in play is Bobby Valentine. But because Jeff Wilpon seems to be the guy making the decisions, and Boboy was fired and then bad mouthed by Met brass, Jeff would never hire Valentine.
    Once again the Wilpons will make the mediocre choice and hire Bob Melvin.

  4. MCasey - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Bobby V is absolutely the guy. A little because of nostalgia, a little because of the attitude he’ll bring, a lot because of the common baseball sense he possesses that the current guy lacks. Also, among other things, no way he lets guys loaf around and not run hard (a Manuel staple). The Mets were never soft when he was around in the late 90s, early 00s. So bring back Bobby V for sure. Now, about the GM situation and bringing in good baseball players …

  5. john pileggi - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Bring back Bobby V! Fred Wilpon needs to isolate his son and try and revive the organization. Valentine and Steve Philips battled and the Wilpons canned them both. Bad move. Philips was followed by Jim Duquette (a very weak guy who was a mouth piece for Jeff Wilpon) and they made a mess with the Art Howe situation. A huge shake-up is in order. Valentine got to the world series with Todd Zeile as his first basemen and Jay Payton and Benny Agbayani as outfielders. The man can do a lot with a little.

  6. Rk - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    man…When did BV turn orange??

  7. Moses Green - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    The Mets should hire Bobby V. and pay him an exorbitant amount of money to manage – but they should stipulate that he can only ever appear in public and the dugouts dressed as Rufus T. Firefly.

  8. Kevin McDonald - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Valentine is a good manager, and when he managed the Mets before, his team had solid fundamentals, and actually overachieved (when was the last time we saw THAT with a Met manager?), making it to the World Series, where they lost to a far more talented Yankee team. That said, Met management would never hire him again because he is an egomaniac, and they prefer quiet guys they think they can get on the cheap and control. But regardless of who the manager is, this Met team has so many holes, and such poor starting pitching, that the greatest manager in history would not be able to get them into the playoffs. The impact of a manager is way overrated anyway. May be good for 4-5 games over the course of a season, but no more. You have to have the talent, especially pitching, and the Wilpons have done a terrible job in developing or acquiring quality pitching, which is shameful for a franchise with a tradition of good pitching. As a lifelong Met fan, I hate to say it, but they are a train wreck, and a change in ownership is needed.

  9. Jack Meoffer - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Valentine turned orange from eating too much sushi the past 7 years.

  10. Tom Shumaker - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    If they don’t want Bobby V in Queens, maybe we could use him in Charm City (aka: Bawl-e-more)

  11. Mike Fay - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    The Mets have Terry Collins, Doug Melvin and Backman in house so their next manager is probably from that group. I think Manuel will have all of April to prove himself worthy of staying, especially since they have 16 home games and only 7 road games in the month. I have been rooting for Backman since Willie was fired but I don’t think the Mets have the guts to do it. They will make the safe choice, probably Melvin, and he will get a bump when (if?) Beltran comes back. More misery for Mets fans.

  12. Big Harold - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    First, if Lupica thinks it’s a good idea there is reason to be suspect. If that sawed off blow hard ever had a good idea, .. it died of loneliness.
    Second, Bobby sort of “kicked the furniture over” on his way out of town the last time so I think that it working against him too.
    Lastly, the Mets absolutley need new blood. There appears to be a complete lack of fire on that team and that is the result, in my opinion, of Manuel’s managerial style. Whoever it is will have their work cut out for them. But unless whoever it is can pitch, I wouldn’t expect much better results.

  13. Xao - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Neither funny nor rational.
    Which team do you root for again?

  14. BC - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Bring back Dallas Green!!!

  15. charlie - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Let me start out by saying I am a Yankee fan and hate the Mets
    but they are so bad that it is hard to even cheer against them anymore–The manager and GM have real image problems -getting a combative guy back like Valentine would buy the Mets time to get healthy
    The current manager is so laid back he makes you feel that he is in a coma–they need life and the current manager is not the right guy

  16. Simon DelMonte - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    I was and am a big Bobby V fan. he’s very flawed and a bit volatile, but he certainly did a good job on his last stop. But I don’t know how good a fit he is, questions about the roster aside. Would he be able to endure with Minaya?
    Or would a change in manager also mean that Omar is being eased out the door and that any manager would be a bit freer to do as he wants?

  17. Old Gator - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Me for Wally. He’s taken entirely too much heat for trying to cover up the sordid details of his dealings with his wounded rattlesnake of an ex-wife, something for which I sympathize entirely. If that had been my ex-wife, I would have denied ever having been married in the first place – which is something I usually do anyway. I don’t care who else believes me, of course – it’s just myself I’m trying to convince so that I can die in peace some day.
    All that notwithstanding, Wally was a solid motivator and winner in the minors before all this horseshit about his toxic ex blew up in his face, and anybody Darryl Strawberry once threatened to garrote can’t be all bad. He was a sparkplug ballplayer I had the joy to watch at close range in New York during his heyday with the Mutts, and I think he’d be a terrific major league manager. At the very least, he’d make a great transitional manager until Bobby Valentine’s digestive system acclimates to cooked fish again. The last thing you would want is someone already prone to stomach trouble managing this bunch of quitters, chokers and deadbeats.

  18. Omar Goodbye-a - Apr 16, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    How about Morgan Freeman – Manuel seems to immitate him every
    press conference – cant do any worse

  19. Dom - Apr 16, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    I disagree. To me Bobby Valentine was one of the worst managers. Several years ago when the Mets were in the final week of the season, they faced Atlanta twice in the last week, one away series and one at home. They were a couple games out and Al Leiter was pitching. In both games, Leiter had a substantial lead and had the Braves totally handcuffed after 8 innings. Valentine went to the bullpen each time and that is all the Braves needed. They couldn’t hit Leiter if their collective lives depended on it and won each game by scoring several runs in the last inning of each game. Had Valentine left Leiter in to pitch to at least batter in each of the those 9th inning scenarios who knows what the outcome could have been. Look it up. Ask Al Leiter. He’ll remember. Valentine is the wrong solution to this problem.

  20. Barry - Apr 16, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Valentine is an excellent choice but didnt he leave on bad terms with the Wilpons?
    Wally Backman to me is the best choice. The Mets need to take a chance on someone who they know the fans will support. Wally would chew up clowns like Reyes who are more concerned about coming up with a cool hand shake or dance rather than winning. Could you imagine what Wally would do if one of these current clowns runs the bases poorly or doesnt hustle?
    Bob Melvin doesnt excite me at all.

  21. Andre the Giant - May 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Bobby V all the way!! Went to the world series with an outfield of Agbayani, Payton and Timo Perez. Gets productivity out of his players and his antics take the focus off of the individual players. I will actually go to a game this season if Bobby V is the manager. Otherwise, wait till next year!!

  22. Dr. Brett - May 20, 2010 at 1:51 AM

    Great, Bob Melvin that is all we need. He is simply a white Jerry Manual. Same record, same bland personality and lack of excitement. You want personality? The Mets should hire Razor Shines. Don’t knock it unless you have ever heard a Razor Shines interview.
    If this guy is not the next manager then I do not know who is. The Wilpons need to bring some character to the team. Manual is way too serious we need somebody that can take the spotlight away from all of the loosing. If that does not work then we need to bring in Betty White. If you saw her on SNL then you know that she is like Shines very entertaining. This is about entertainment, right? Heck bring back Bernazard and have him manage with the caveat that he must do so without his shirt on. Anything is better than the boring lack of character and identity that this Mets team has.

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