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Bobby Valentine can handle Boston. Can Boston handle him?

Nov 30, 2011, 6:24 AM EDT

valentine in suit

Bobby Valentine in Boston. I’ve seen a lot of people getting a bit worked up by all of this, but I’m having trouble seeing what the big deal is. He’s a bright guy. He’s had success. Especially in tough situations such as in New York and in the higher-pressure-than-anyone-ever-acknowledges world of Japanese baseball.

Indeed, to the extent you see anyone questioning this hire on the basis of “can Valentine handle Boston?” feel free to ignore that person, because they’re simply unaware of where this guy has been for the past decade.

There was perhaps no more scrutinized and publicized manager in the history of organized baseball than there was when Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in the NPB.  As we learned in a fantastic series of articles by Robert Whiting a couple of years ago, the Marines were Bobby Valentine:

At the entrance to the park, a flat-screen TV showed continuous loops of Bobby greeting fans. The concourse walkways inside the park were lined with 3-meter high Bobby murals, inscribed with his aphorisms — e.g. “The team is a family. A happy family makes the team stronger.” Even the food there had his image on it, including the Bobby box lunch, a brand of sake with his picture on the label, a beer named after him and Bobby bubble gum. Near the main entrance to the stadium there was a small shrine in his honor, featuring his papier mache image, and not far away there was a street named after him, Bobby Valentine Way.

But it wasn’t all just ego-stroking either.  Near the end of his tenure the owner of the Marines — wanting to cut costs and find a way to push Valentine out — orchestrated a campaign to smear and undermine him, falsely accusing him of kickbacks and nepotism and drunkenness and all manner of awfulness. The owner was later exposed and Valentine’s reputation, though he left the NPB, emerged intact.

None of that means that Valentine will win in Boston.  But it does suggest that the guy is going to be more than able to handle the scrutiny and pressure of the job. I mean, say what you will about the Boston press, the front office leakers and the insanity of Red Sox Nation, but it just doesn’t compare to a guy going from demi-god to public enemy seemingly overnight like Valentine did in Japan.

The one area of concern I still have stems from the way in which Valentine became a candidate in the first place. He was clearly the owners’ choice. He was clearly imposed on new GM Ben Cherington.  As such, if there ever comes a time when Cherington and Valentine have a dispute as to how best to use and deploy Red Sox’ personnel, you have to figure Valentine — knowing that John Henry and Larry Lucchino have his back — won’t back down.  To the extent the story of Boston’s success over the past decade has been a function of the Epstein/Cherington brain trust calling the shots and Terry Francona dutifully implementing it,  this could mark a shift.  Though to be fair, we don’t know that Henry and Lucchino weren’t calling more shots over this time than has been generally accepted. Maybe it’s an old dynamic.

Anyway: I know a lot of folks are wary of Bobby Valentine because a big famous guy coming into the dugout after several years of the unassuming Terry Francona marks a distinct shift in tone.  But to the extent anyone is worried about Valentine being able to “handle” Boston or whatever, I think it’s a pretty trifling concern.

I think the bigger question is whether Boston can handle Bobby Valentine.

  1. tashkalucy - Nov 30, 2011 at 6:55 AM

    Craig,

    You really need to learn something about sports, business and life and not look at everything as if it is another version of an ‘American Idol’ and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ popularity contest.

    In the last 20-30 years, Japan has sent America one baseball star – Icherio; a decent player – Matsui; a number of so-so players, and a whole lot guys that couldn’t play.

    Like most Americans you are ignorant of the way people do things and overlay your values and criteria when evaluating situations and coming to conclusions.

    Let’s start with the fact that in Japanese baseball, teams are heavily structured and there is a respect for authority. Japanese teams do things like practice fundamentals for 2-3 hours before a game – at a level that major league teams only do in spring training. For heavens sake, in the major leagues today most teams don’t even bother taking infield before the game.

    Valentine (or any manager) will never get this sort of compliance from the overpaid Red Sox players that listen to their agents and union heads far more then they do any manager. And exactly how many minutes will it take the front-running, back-stabbing Red Sox media and fans to cut into the guy the first time they lose 3 games in a row?

    So “John Henry and Larry Lucchino have his back”? When injuries, slumps an bad seasons happen, do they get him players? And when “new GM Ben Cherington” gets him a guy that goes belly-up you don’t think Valentine will go over his head to Henry and Lucchino, turning Cherington and his staff into Valentine’s highly paid gofers? Is there anyone in MLB – starting with his old friends with the Cubs – that thinks Cherington will last even 2 years with the Red Sox before he resigns?

    The Boston media and fans are possibly the worst in MLB (with New Yorkers a close second). The players have known it for decades. Manny’s friends and teammates warned him not to go there, and they were right – he turned into something he never was with the Indians. No one “handles” the Boston media. Even if you win they dump on you. And Valentine isn’t going to win – the situation in Boston created by Henry and Lucchino assures that chaos ensues shortly….and when it does…….

    • Gobias Industries - Nov 30, 2011 at 7:12 AM

      Craig, you’re what the French call “les incompetents.”

      • Gobias Industries - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        Wow, that’s a lot of thumbs down.

        Note to self: never again make a lame “Home Alone” reference in a forum full of grown men.

      • Kyle - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        I loved it. More lame Home Alone jokes please!

      • Gobias Industries - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        You got it. And to think, I was just about to ask, you guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?

        I also have a bunch of quotes from Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House starring French Stewart, but I’ll save that for next holiday season.

      • ohleee - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        “les incompetents” is plural. Last time I checked, CC is only one person.

      • majmayhem - Nov 30, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        Yes but Sabathia may count as 2. So in the confusion on CC’s I forgive the slip.

    • 78mu - Nov 30, 2011 at 7:55 AM

      If there is a disagreement between the manager and Cherington, some guy with a black mustache and dark glasses will show up in the dugout to agree with Valentine.

      If only Terry Francona had bought a super spy disguise kit he would have had someone else to back him up.

    • Ari Collins - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:06 AM

      Craig needs to learn so much from Tasha! Get on that, sir. Start a-learnin’ today.

    • JBerardi - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM

      ” Manny’s friends and teammates warned him not to go there, and they were right – he turned into something he never was with the Indians.”

      Man, the media must have been really bad in LA then…

    • stex52 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      I’m not sure where all we are going with this one. We seem to be saying the Japanese are disciplined and respectful but lousy ballplayers. Therefore the unions and the media will destroy the new GM. Oh, and by the way, Boston and NY fans are evil.

      Bobby Valentine won a few games before he got to Japan. Boston may turn into a mess, but I expect it will have much more to do with bad management than with player discipline and the media.

      And what exactly did the media do to destroy Manny? Seems like he was perfectly capable of that by himself.

    • Alex K - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Geez, Craig. Why don’t you stop using your values to evaluate how you feel about something.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      I just have one question. What’s the record on HBT for a single comments number of thumbs down?

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        Great question UYF: Don’t quote me on this…but I think Bicepts might have the record. At least he has received the most “thumbs down” on a single comment that I have seen. Around 100 or so.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        stlouis, he’s up to 80 and counting now.

      • bozosforall - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        On a side note, the “thumbs up, thumbs down” function is the lamest part of any comments driven website. All it becomes is a way for the fair-weather fans from fan bases like Boston’s to try and attack the posts of rival fans en masse. The function is in no way a true indicator of the quality (or lack thereof) the specific post. Much like fan voting for any pro league All-Star game.

        Thumbs down if you one of those fair-weather losers.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        bozo, if it’s so lame why do you always immediately after posting a comment thumb up your own post?

      • beanster71 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        Whether or not bicepts has the single comment record, he is most certainly in the thumbs down Hall of Fame.

      • Ralphie - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        bozosforall, MSNBC’s Serial Troll. On every board with the same lame “vote thumbs down if…”

        The two things that will never be mumbled by Bozo
        1. “I’ll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex”
        2. “Checkmate”

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        stlouis – if your earlier post this morning on the previous thumbs down record is accurate it would appear that the post this morning by “tashkalucy” has set a new all time thumbs down record on HBT for a comment. As of this post he/she/it has received 156 thumbs down in just about 8 hours.

    • cur68 - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:13 AM

      Tash: Hat + Foil. Get some.

    • bobwsc - Nov 30, 2011 at 3:57 PM

      “icherio?” dude is breakfast cereal all the sudden? Ichiro, your holiness.

  2. paperlions - Nov 30, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    It will definitely be interesting. If Valentine does go over Cherington’s head, how long does Cherington stick around? He is highly regarded around baseball and he’s young. Why bother sticking around if you aren’t allowed to do your job as you see fit when other organizations would be more than happy to give you proper GM control?

    Oh yeah, and obviously the RS are on the verge of an epic collapse that will see them finishing no better than 3rd for the next decade…can’t remember where I saw that written, but I do remember that is was a dissertation chock full of facts and logic. /sarcasm

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      Your first part was an excellent, well thought-out point.

      Your second part seemed to be going toward Trollville, but your sarcasm clarity was your saving grace. I simply don’t understand why people think Boston is one big crazy farm. The players could have handled themselves better (I don’t blame monthly chicken and beer for SP’s on off-days whatsoever), but we’ll never know why things fell apart like they did in its entirety.

      Boston will continue to be a successful franchise, and I for one am very intrigued to see how Bobby handles these guys. Being away from MLB as long as Dan Duquette, I bet Bobby will have some refreshing thoughts on managing.

  3. Ari Collins - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    Do we actually know that Valentine is a Lucchino hire? I’ve heard it only speculated that he MIGHT be Lucchino’s favorite, but maybe I missed a source?

    If true, it’s still a long gap between, “Lucchino wanted Valentine, while Cherington preferred other candidates,” and, “Valentine now has the power to ignore his GM.”

    • paperlions - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:15 AM

      It is “known” as much as it can be without one of them announcing it on twitter. The RS met at the owner’s meetings and were not happy with Cherington’s selection (Sveum), then suddenly Valentine was mentioned as a candidate, the RS owners met with Valentine before the GM did, and lies were told to make it seem like Valentine was always a candidate….if he was always a candidate, why was he never mentioned among the candidate or interviewees until after the owners shot down their new GMs selection for manager? It’s crap. They then drug out the process for no reason whatsoever to make it appear as if they were still considering other candidates.

      No one said Valentine will have the ability to reach beyond the GM, it was just speculated that he might…and considering Lucchino’s tendency to be over-involved and the fact that Valentine was who he (and not his GM) wanted for manager…it is a reasonable question.

      • JBerardi - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

        That’s it. No more lunch meetings, ever.

        Seriously, can’t an organization have a second interview and not hire a guy without being completely dysfunctional? Why even have the meeting if only one outcome is acceptable?

      • Ari Collins - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:02 AM

        Got a source for any of that?

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        The source was not identified because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. Isn’t that the way it usually goes.

      • paperlions - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM

        If you want to do some research and create a time line, you’ll see that a number of candidates were identified publicly, and then brought in one by one for an interview, with each interview being announced before it happened and then reported on after it happened. Then suddenly, Valentine was “always a candidate” and had been interviewed before by…someone with the RS. Okay…if we accept this as true, why in the world would Valentine be kept a secret and not the other guys? Could you even keep Valentine a secret if he was a candidate and had interviewed? Why did he interview with the owners before ever meeting with the GM?

        If you follow the evidence, there is just no evidence that Valentine was one of the original candidates or that him being a candidate was the preference or idea of the GM.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM

        But why does Valentine being a manager they brought in later mean that Lucchino overruled Cherington? That’s a pretty big logical jump. Seems to me that just means that their first round of interviews led Boston to the conclusion they needed a new candidate. Doesn’t say anything about a power struggle.

        I’m not saying it’s false. Just that I’d like to see it sourced, or at the very least from multiple anonymous sources. I think people are jumping to an awful lot of conclusions here.

    • randygnyc - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      I’ve been saying for a while now, and keep getting “thumbs down”, but exactly like Shoealter, Valentine doesn’t take any managers job without control over baseball operations. No way does valentine take orders from “training wheels” Cherrington. And when valentine starts making unorthodox moves (as he always has), just to be highlighted on sportscenter, the Boston media will stick a shiv in his eye. Bobby coaches to promulgate his ego, not to win baseball games. Just wait and see.

  4. blakeden - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Thank you Redsox’s he’s a horrible announcer….Now if some team will hire Joe Buck to be manager life would be good

    • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      AMEN !!!

    • phukyouk - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      THIS!

  5. Jonny 5 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    I strongly believe that the Red Sox will be a better team with Bobby V as their manager. Despite his short comings (everyone has them) he will be able to get more from this team. The man does have baseball smarts, it’s a fact. The man is strong willed, another fact. His players generally seem to like him. Bobby will do well I think.

    I sit here and laugh my ass off because every single one of my predictions with every single Bobby V rumor over the last couple of years that I based on what his attention loving teeth would choose for him did actually come true. I now predict he will perform better than expected in Boston because his teeth require it of him.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      Where are your sources? Or are you just speculating. Or have advanced sabermetrics predicted that the Red Sox will be a better team with him as manager than they would be with NO manager. Sorry I couldn’t resist that last part.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        LOL, I do have a system of Advanced statistics which prove my theory uyf . PMBTD x correct prediction/ wrong predictions. This has proven that Predictions Made By Tooth Decisions have been 100% effective. It’s not rocket science ya know… ;>P

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

        Jonny 5 – In that case OK, source approved. Order has been restored and the RSN can breathe a sigh of relief.

      • bozosforall - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        He’s using the HUHA advanced sabermetrics analysis.

        HUHA = Head Up His Arse

      • cur68 - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM

        And you, bozo, are using the BAD method: Being A Dick.

  6. baseballisboring - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Tito’s my homeboy forever, but I’m excited/intrigued at the change. Maybe some more strict discipline IS exactly what the team needs. Or maybe it’s just better health and no 6 ERA from John Lackey and Tito shouldn’t have been let go in the first place. Oh well, I’m excited by the turnover and ready to see how the rest of the roster shakes out now.

  7. uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    If there was/is any doubt in anyone’s mind about Cherington being Lucchino’s puppet GM all they need to do is click on this link. This is about as clear as sources can make it.

    • marinersnate - Nov 30, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      “If there was/is any doubt in anyone’s mind about Cherington being Lucchino’s puppet GM….”

      UYF, so true.

      It reminds me of that well publicized story of that other ‘puppet’ GM that Craig wrote about last January. I do not recall all of the details, but if I remember correctly a East Coast club was trying to sign the top free agent pitcher on the market (who’s name eludes me now). This nameless pitcher turned down this ‘puppet’ GM’s offer and signed with a club he had played for in the past (sorry, I can not recall now which team this was). It was then suggested that this East Coast team should sign a well-known Type-A closer who was a free agent from – I think it may have been one of the Florida teams. This East Coast GM then famously called a press conference and stated “he would not give up his first round draft pick for anyone”. He would have for that nameless top free agent pitcher. But no one else. Yet within days this ‘puppet’ GM had been ‘ordered’ by upper management to not only sign this Type-A closer and surrender it’s first round draft pick to the Florida based team, but to also give this player a three year deal with opt-out clauses after each year. Can you imagine? To be just a ‘puppet’ GM like that and be overruled by ownership or upper management on a personnel decision.

      UYF, if you can recall any of the details of this team/’puppet’ GM, please feel free to refresh my memory.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        Sorry, I can’t. Between all the goings on in Beantown the rumors about the Marlins interest in every possible free agent and waiting for the Mariners to built a team around King Felix before his contract expires I haven’t given much thought to the past. Because as someone once said “what’s done is done and can’t be undone”.

        Oh BTW, should you be able to recall any name or names please feel free to post it here.

      • marinersnate - Nov 30, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        No I can’t recall. But I felt that since you seemed to have so much information on ‘puppet’ GMs you might be able help me out.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        marinersnate – that’s where you made your 1st mistake. I don’t have so much information of puppet GMs (plural) as you said. Only on 1 puppet GM.

        Like I said, keep trying I’m sure it will come to you at some point.

        BTW, how’s that rebuilding mode in Seattle going? Only 3 more seasons before King Felix can become a FA.

      • marinersnate - Nov 30, 2011 at 3:53 PM

        Why thank you for asking, my friend. Yes, King Felix has three more loooong years in Seattle. At least. He was recently quoted in a spanish-language article stating he wished the M’s would extend him another five years now. Not much chance he will be playing for an East Coast team any time soon. But keep asking.

        No, I can’t recall the details of that ‘puppet’ GM. Nor can I recall the name of that East Coast team. I asked you because I felt that you may know what team this was. Perhaps it might even be among your favorites?

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        marinersnate – let me answer the last part of your comment first. If the GM’s name that you have obviously labored over to try and remember was from the team I root for I’m sure I would have remember it. While I don’t root for the Angels or Braves they have over the years become two of my more favorite teams that I like to follow if not root for. Do you think it’s either the GM of the Angels or Braves you might be thinking of? Anyway it really doesn’t matter. I’m sure at some point it will come to you.

        As for your comment and the apparent wishes of King Felix to remain in Seattle. If that is truly the case and what he wishes for, then all I can say is he must love the weather in Seattle because it sure can’t be that he wants to play for a winner.

      • marinersnate - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:59 PM

        UYF,

        I will only add to the discussion with the point that, by the same reasoning, Cliff Lee must also love the weather in Philadelphia. Or is it the cheese steaks? Or is it that he simply perfers not to play for a certain East Coast team?

        Speaking of SP’s, I understand that your favorite team has just re-signed a right-hander who used to pitch for the M’s. Way back in his prime. I remember watching him pitch at Safeco. Years and years and years and years and years and years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see that at his age, he is still considered MLB material. Congratulations.

        Have a good day, my friend. I enjoy the discussion but duty and making a living call.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM

        marinersnate – you can’t seriously be comparing Lee’s desire to go back to Philadelphia and pitch for a winner. A city and a team that won the world series as recently as 2008 and appeared in the post season in every subsequent year to what you say King Felix’s desire to stay in Seattle past his current contact. A team that hasn’t made it to the post season since 2001 and has never made it to the World Series. A team that since 1977 has won 90 or more games only 5 times, and in 35 years has had only 10 winning seasons.

      • bozosforall - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        You mean the GM that cobbled together a pitching staff that was good enough to not only be in the top 5 in ERA in the AL but also the one that ended up winning their division? I’m sure that you weren’t talking about the team that choked away the month of September (and in the process the division lead and any chance at the wild card to boot). Certainly not the team that had the biggest choke in the homestretch in the history of MLB.

        The GM that you are (incorrectly) discussing still has a job, with the same team that he has won several titles with during his tenure. As opposed to another team, who not only ran off the most successful manager in their recent history, but also chased away the most successful GM in their recent history as well.

        Both teams obviously more successful than the one in your screen name, of course.

  8. uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Has anyone stopped to consider that while Bobby V may not have been the Red Sox 1st choice for manager. That may be the Red Sox were not Bobby V’s 1st team choice to manage. May be since no one in MLB came calling for the last 10 years it was he who settled for the Red Sox and not the other way around. Would I be going to far by saying this may very well be a marriage of convenience.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      They may have not come calling because he had a job overseas for several years.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        I think it’s a pretty safe bet that if he was offered a job managing a MLB team during that time he would have jumped at it. And been on the first plane back to the states. He was overseas because no one offered him a job here.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 30, 2011 at 3:38 PM

        We don’t know that really, nor do we know how the Marines would have let him out of his obligations even if they did come calling. This is pretty moot.

  9. uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    OK don’t everyone laugh at this comment. But I think I know the real reason the Red Sox hired Bobby V. They fully intend to offer Dice K a new 6 year contract and they figured with Bobby V having managed over in Japan that would tip the scales in their favor and their ability to resign Dice K.

  10. thinman61 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Craig, I haven’t seen anyone, in the Boston press or elsewhere, questioning whether Bobby V can handle Boston. I have seen legitimate questions about how open he truly is to statistical input and new ideas, and whether he’ll be able to resist the temptation to make it all about Bobby V.

    This takedown is from the blogger Murray Chass, so take it with a huge grain of salt, but still.
    With This Would-Be Manager, V Is For Loser: http://www.murraychass.com/?p=4056

    • Ari Collins - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      Ehh. Typical Murray Chass hatchet job, quoting a few people, claiming they represent a larger sample, and building a case against someone through crazy logical jumps.

      As to Valentine being into statistical input, Over the Monster had an interesting piece on it today: http://www.overthemonster.com/2011/11/30/2600020/thoughts-on-bobby-valentine-from-those-familiar

      • thinman61 - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        Yeah, I saw Marc Normandin’s piece on OTM this morning. It was a pretty reasonable take.

  11. chargerdillon - Nov 30, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    I love to hate the Red Sox more than any other team in any sport. With the exception of the Mets nobody spends as much money to win as the Red Sox and finds a way to screw it up.

    If not for the fact the Red Sox actually won 2 championships they would be EXACTLY what the Mets are.

    The Red Sox and Mets are just REALLY BAD versions of the New York Yankees. You spend ridiculous amounts of money, expect a championship, and when it doesn’t happen everybody gets thrown under the bus. Sox and Mets can’t handle their own success and failures which is why in the Yanks organization you don’t see the daggers come out when they dont win, because you’re playing the same money ball game the Phillies, Mets, and Red Sox are only the Yankees are committed to doing it every year which is why the top of the organization doesn’t flip out when things don’t go perfectly.

    The Red Sox has the absolute best organization in baseball last year, and because they choked a few games, had some major injuries, and missed the playoffs….. you decided to throw it all away and put your team back at square one as an embarrassing team that spends too much money to compete with well run franchises like the Yanks and Phillies.

    Make no mistake Red Sox nation, your top brass burned the bridge for you. Enjoy the next 100 years of getting back what you just threw away, because it’ll probably take that long

  12. bozosforall - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    marinersnate – Nov 30, 2011 at 4:59 PM
    UYF,

    I will only add to the discussion with the point that, by the same reasoning, Cliff Lee must also love the weather in Philadelphia. Or is it the cheese steaks? Or is it that he simply perfers not to play for a certain East Coast team?

    Speaking of SP’s, I understand that your favorite team has just re-signed a right-hander who used to pitch for the M’s. Way back in his prime. I remember watching him pitch at Safeco. Years and years and years and years and years and years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see that at his age, he is still considered MLB material. Congratulations.

    Have a good day, my friend. I enjoy the discussion but duty and making a living call.

    __
    Cliff Lee is a coward while Freddie Garcia is not. Therein lies the difference between the two.

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