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Bobby Valentine isn’t exactly going to rule with an iron fist

Feb 9, 2012, 12:53 AM EDT


Given how the Red Sox fell apart late last season under the light touch of nice-guy manager Terry Francona, it would be natural to assume that Bobby Valentine would come in wearing steel-toed boots, ready to stomp on any player who even thinks about calling Colonel Sanders.

That assumption would be wrong. From the sound of things, Valentine isn’t going to be like that at all. In fact, the new Boston manager is going to leave the players alone to police themselves. Surprised?

In an interview on the MLB Network, Bob Costas asks Valentine if something similar to what happened last season could repeat itself under his watch.

“I certainly hope not,” Valentine said. “And I hope that it’s not because the big bad policeman’s standing on the corner and monitoring everything that’s going on. I hope it’s a conscious effort of players, coaches, clubhouse men, trainers all being on the same page, all understanding the difference between right and wrong. And I think they all know.”

So basically, Valentine is going to treat the players like adults, which sounds scary on the surface. He’s going to let ownership and GM Ben Cherrington warn the players at the start of the season that past behaviors won’t be tolerated, then step in as the new guy and do his thing.

It might actually be the correct way to handle a veteran team, but given that Valentine oversaw a Mets team that was involved in plenty of clubhouse shenanigans, it’s got to be a bit disquieting for Red Sox fans.

You can watch a clip of the interview here, and Art Martone of CSN New England has several more goodies from the interview here, including Valentine’s take on the infamous mustache he wore in the dugout after being ejected from a game in 1999. (He blames Robin Ventura). Good stuff.

You can follow Bob on Twitter here, or if Facebook is your thing, be his friend here.

  1. aceshigh11 - Feb 9, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    There is no reason for Valentine to come in and starting cracking skulls on Day One. It would be counterproductive, and would serve no purpose other than to alienate him from the team.

    Fer Chrissake, these are grown men, NOT middle-school students.

    It’s appalling that these pampered millionaires, who are blessed with such superior athletic abilities that they can become wealthy by playing a kid’s game, can’t comport themselves with some maturity and dignity.

    These guys KNOW they screwed up. Give them a chance to do a little soul-searching and let them police themselves at first and, if that doesn’t work out, THEN start bringing the hammer down.

    • lardin - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Except thats its easier to go from being a hardass and a Disciplinarian to an easy going laissez faire manager. You can not do it the other way. So I would go in and lay down the law so to speak, hold players accountable, and then lighten up as needed. But what he cant do is go in and do nothing in the beginning and then “bring the hammer down” The players will just laugh at him

    • bigharold - Feb 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      Sometimes isn’t schadenfreude great?

      As a Yankee fan I have to admit in enjoying the Nation’s angst over the September crash and burn. But, I’m not convinced that the beer swilling and chicken eating had a thing to do about it. It seems like blaming poultry and suds has more to do with the owners, media and the Nation’s need to rationalize the RS epic failure than actual cause and effect. The same behavior that is being blamed for September’s tanking was likely occurring for the entire season, if not most of it, and the RS were playing pretty good baseball until September. Who really knows for sure?

      Regardless, Valentine coming to ST to kick ass and take names would be a huge mistake, .. he could lose the team immediately and irrevocably. If he doesn’t show the players respect he’ll get none in return. Besides it’s not only easier to treat them like grownups, as long as that comport themselves as such, it also easier to ratchet thing up than ratchet them down. Moderation would seem to be called for here.

      No amount of bluster or head banging will change last season’s outcome, .. it’s history. What Valentine needs to secure is the RS future and that can best be achieved by, at least until circumstances dictate otherwise, taking an even handed approach. The truth of the dysfunction of last year’s clubhouse is debatable. What is not is that Valentine is the new guy and this is a new season and the RS need to put last September behind them. Dwelling on it in ST would be a mistake and unnecessary, .. the players read the paper too.

      Of course as a Yankee fan I wouldn’t be too upset if Valentine behaved like a complete ass and ticked off every guy on the roster. I just don’t see that happening because whatever Valentine is or isn’t as a manager he’s not a moron. But, by all means Bobby, .. feel free to thrust upon the player the magnitude of your personality, .. you did after all invent the wrap.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Aww, c’mon Bobby, don’t be afraid to channel your inner Stalin. Look at that smile. You’re basically the same person…..

    I kid, I kid. If there was a second coming of Stalin he would have been hired by George Steinbrenner many years ago.

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure the shining beacon of Capitalism wouldn’t hire a communist like Stalin. He’d be much more comfortable in the liberal New England area. He could even go and party with what’s left of the Kennedys. BTW, what is up with Valentine’s eyebrows that looks so frigging weird?

  3. proudlycanadian - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    Many Red Sox fans probably have a sinking feeling going into the season and this will not help.

    • paperlions - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      If they felt otherwise, then they wouldn’t be true Red Sox fans. When things are going great those folks still actively look for reasons that it will all fall apart and 100% completely EXPECT that it will happen. That is just the nature of being a long-time Red Sox fan.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:53 AM

        Reading the comments about the Red Sox on is always an interesting experience. Many Sox fans make harsh comments about their team.

      • paperlions - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:02 AM

        I mostly avoid it (I live in eastern CT), but they pretty much expect the team to collapse, and then go ballistic when it happens. They fans/media will totally rip into any and everyone despite a complete lack of evidence that they were the last of the problems (not unlike Mets fans/media blaming Reyes/Wright for the Mets sucking). It is pretty much the complete opposite of the attitude I grew up with…..interesting to observe though.

      • aceshigh11 - Feb 9, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        I think proudlycanadian and paperlions have both nailed the psychology of the average New England sports fan.

        Even after all of the successes of the past decade, they love to wallow in misery and will look for any excuse to rant and rave about how awful their teams are.

  4. skeleteeth - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    I don’t give a fuck what goes on in the clubhouse. Just play goddamn good baseball.

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

      • skeleteeth - Feb 9, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        I’m from New England. We show no affection.

  5. 13yrsmlbvet - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Bobby brought his own clubhouse guy in to be his mole and tell him everything going on in the locker room. This has disaster written all over it.

  6. randygnyc - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    I don’t get the ones here saying that these grown men should be left alone because they are professional and will know how to perform when required. If that was the case, they wouldn’t have authored the worst collapse in the history for the ENTIRE month of September last season. I say crack some heads. Even cut a player or 2 to make your point.

  7. paperlions - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    I don’t understand why people think grown men (or women) would automatically behave themselves and be self motivated to do their jobs… these people really not pay attention to the hierarchical structure at their own place of employment and notice the difference in everyone’s behavior when the boss is around and when the boss is not?

    If adults behaved as people expect baseball players to do, supervisors wouldn’t be required because….you know…adults know what their job is and would just do it without someone looking over their shoulder.

  8. patsandsox - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    I have seen how grown men behave at my job (IT professionals) when the boss is away, and know better. Its human nature to goof off when the bosses backs are turned I guess.

    If they could have been able to trust to pride in their work, staying in shape and acting like adults we wouldnt be having this debate today

  9. hammyofdoom - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    It makes no sense to go in on the first day and be a dictator, because thats a good way to become white noise REAL fast. Go in slow, earn some respect, THEN if you need to crack heads. Thats the one issue I had with Francona, he had earned SO much respect, yet he never really seemed to step in when it was needed and he was hands off all the time. Never told people to steal, they either had a green like all the time or a red light… Carl Crawford all last y ear even had his own “run if you feel comfortable” sign. What the hell is that?

    Oh and as a Red Sox fan, a 90 win year isn’t the end of the world. They had injuries, they had some holes, it happens. Sucks it happened at the very end of the season like that, but I still watched all of the playoff games and the World Series and I have high hopes for them this year. A lot of older New England sports fans are the type who go “woe is us we always lose”, but I know a lot of us younger critters are a little more grounded. Hell, we’re spoiled with our 7 championships in a decade, as long as the Sox are competitive i’m happy and I’m absolutely overjoyed if the win the world series

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