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Bobby Valentine had a meltdown on the radio today

Sep 5, 2012, 3:32 PM EDT

Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine was a guest on WEEI in Boston a few minutes ago and it is being described by some — not unfairly, I don’t think — as a “meltdown.” You can listen to the whole thing here or, alternatively, read the summary of it written up by Alex Speier:

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, in an animated and contentious interview on The Big Show in which he suggested that he would like to punch radio host Glenn Ordway in the face, said that he would like to return to manage the Red Sox in 2013, even after a 2012 season that he characterized as a personally “miserable” one.

“This is what I chose to do. I think it’s been miserable, but it’s also been part of my life’s journey,” said Valentine. “You learn from misery.”

The threat to punch Ordway in the mouth came when Ordway asked him if he had “checked out”:

“What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there right now, I’d punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha. How’s that sound? Is that like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing,” said Valentine. “Why would somebody even, that’s stuff that a comic strip person would write. If someone’s here, watching me go out at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, watching me put in the right relief pitchers to get a win, putting on a hit-and-run when it was necessary, talking to the guys after the game in the food room — how could someone in real life say that?”

Bobby V. sounds at turns belligerent, fatalistic and miserable.  He’s also not dumb, and you get the sense that he knows he’s going to be fired at the end of the season.  Almost makes me wonder if he’s trying to get fired a few weeks early.

  1. 18thstreet - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    The fault lies with the people who hired him. Anyone who listened to this idiot on Sunday Night Baseball for the past couple of years already knew what a fool he is.

    If he were my boss, I’d try to undermine him, too.

    • sabatimus - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      That was one of my reasons for hating Valentine–his commentary was ATROCIOUS. Also, he has a voice for newspaper, and he hadn’t coached in the majors in 10 years. It was idiotic to even consider hiring him.

      • 18thstreet - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        We were supposed to believe he’s smarter when the microphone is off.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:57 PM

        Not sure I buy the importance of not coaching in the majors. However, “voice for newspaper” was awesome!

    • schmedley69 - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      Hey, watch it! You’re talking about the man who invented the sandwich wrap. Show some respect.

  2. woodenulykteneau - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    FWIW, Most everybody wants to punch Glenn Ordway in the mouth; it’s hardly a unique or damning reaction.

    • sabatimus - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Now, if he wanted to punch Michael Holley in the face…Holley’s basically the yin to Ordway’s yang.

    • bbil2012 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      Well, there are 85 more belligerent people!

  3. sknut - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Bobby is his own worst enemy, how hard is to answer the question without punching someone in the face and furthermore how could he be insulted at the idea that he is checked out, the team is lousy, he is going to get canned and its easy to go through the motions. Of course with all things Bobby this wasn’t his fault….What a miserable situation.

    • atworkident - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      It’s difficult.

      I am tempted to swing after your question (how hard is to answer the question without punching someone in the face).

    • bigleagues - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      This is perception:

      “Of course with all things Bobby this wasn’t his fault…”

      And I say that because even in this interview Bobby accepted and quite clearly stated that he may be one of the problems that held this team back this year.

      I guess generally people hear what they want to hear, especially when the central storyline of your season began before you ever arrived for Spring Training.

  4. Brian Donohue - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Too many negatives piling up there, CC: if you agree that the “meltdown” description is fair (or “not unfair”), then you want to say “I think”. It’s one of those writer’s traps that gets the most business in the wild: getting tangled (not unfairly or not) in negatives. BTW if you need a good experienced editor there, let’s get in touch.

  5. jarathen - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    The comic strip he is referencing, I’m guessing, is Beetle Bailey. Sounds like something Sarge would say.

    Also, the kind of comic strip Bobby Valentine would read and/or find funny.

  6. realgone2 - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    If someone’s here, watching me go out at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, watching me put in the right relief pitchers to get a win, putting on a hit-and-run when it was necessary, talking to the guys after the game in the food room

    Ah the rigors of a baseball manager.

  7. hittfamily - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Is he really attempting to convince people he is trying really hard because he shows up to work at 2 PM and calls a hit and run? This will not endear him to people who show up to work at 8 AM and then pay to watch the Red Sox play, as opposed to showing up at 2 PM and get payed to watch the same game.

    What an idiot. He just doesn’t get it.

    • bigleagues - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:54 PM

      It would help if you had listened to the interview first.

      A person who has an 8 AM job, who one morning wants to pick up a relative at the airport, who then arrives at the airport to discover the flight is delayed, then gets stuck in heavy traffic on the way back, calls work to inform them and ultimately arrives two hours late – don’t typically have newspaper reporters making assumptions about the reasons for being ‘late’ and then publishing those assumptions as fact.

      There were more legit items for an anti-Bobby type to go after than that. Bobby had a right to be pissed off.

  8. onbucky96 - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    End this already and fire his ass. Red Sox Nation demands his head!

  9. keithbangedyermom - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Hardball Talk is going to have a void to fill next year.

  10. bloodysock - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    He was downright wacky (not in a good way) and contentious. He’s toast. Burnt toast.

  11. xmatt0926x - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    It seems Bobby V is just one of those guys who for better or worse, maybe just is misplaced as a manager of todays players. I saw a tv show a couple years back while he managed in Japan and Bobby is a very unique guy. He has very sophisticated interests outside of the game and you can see just from many of his interviews, etc. that he is a very intelligent guy with an odd personality. I wonder if he’s just a square peg trying to fit into a round hole by being a manager of todays typical athlete. I’m not excusing his behavior at all. I think he has brought alot of this mess on himself by his actions from day one. This just all looks like it was a disaster waiting to happen from the first day.

    • anthonyverna - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Add to that statement that I believe that he’s now throwing the job. He can double the crankiness and anger and just be fired while collecting on his contract. He knows what he’s doing now that the entire job has turned into ashes.

  12. lazlosother - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Another Bobby Valentine post. Jesus God, NY is now tied with the freakin Orioles and being beaten like a rented mule wherever they play. What does the Universe have to do to get trolled around here? If you can’t find the material or desire for this one Craig, you may need to ride the pine for a day or two to get your mojo back.

    • sabatimus - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      You seriously expect a manager to come on the air and (jokingly?) threaten to punch the interviewer in the face, and have it NOT be something Craig is going to write about?

      • lazlosother - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM

        I know it’s like watching a train wreck, but I honestly am tired of it. And yeah, I see your point. I’m just surprised at the lack of schadenfreude today. I’m a NY fan and I expected to see some serious ribbing about the current state of affairs.

  13. 18thstreet - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    If I were a child with a terminal disease, I’d contact the Make-A-Wish foundation, asking to be the guy who fired Bobby Valentine.

  14. kkolchak - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    “said that he would like to return to manage the Red Sox in 2013”

    We can only hope. 😀

  15. sabatimus - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Ok, now they HAVE to fire him. Or at least any sane person would do it.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      They really do. This is insubordinate.

      • bigleagues - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

        Insubordinate of WHOM?

        Did you hear him laying any blame on John Henry or Larry Lucchino or Tom Werner or Ben Cherington?

        Yeah, he said he would have preferred to have a little more insight into some of the issues surrounding the club before he took the job. BIG DEAL.

      • 18thstreet - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:49 AM

        He’s stopped trying to do his job.

  16. aceshigh11 - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Dude’s gone berserk.

    I feel bad for the guy…he’s a goofball, but jeezus. He didn’t sign on for this freakshow.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Yes, he did. He was paid a lot of money to manage this freak show.

      He signed a contract to manage a team that collapsed the prior year, bloated with overpaid player and declining stars. He signed up after they fired the best manager the Olde Town Team ever had, and then accused of being a drug addict after he left. He signed up for one of the most cut-throat media packs and a fanbase that collectively suffers from manic-depression about this team.

      THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HE SIGNED UP FOR. And someone paid him a lot of money for it. I’m mad at all of them.

      He is who we thought he was.

      • bigleagues - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM

        That same best manager the club ever had also admitted that he was burnt out on the job and that he needed a break, so, yeah while someone leaked some vague reference to pain-killer usage – we still don’t know who leaked that and until and if that is ever definitively revealed – personally I’m not going to assume that it was the owners – because really what good could come of that?

  17. raider2124 - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    The problem is the red sox have no pitching, no bullpen and no bats. Tough to win with an old and broken down roster. The players are the problem they think that they are entitled to the playoffs and think they are better then they are. Its the northeast liberal mentality. They can’t help it surrounded by whining liberals all day long they start to believe there garbage.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      You used the wrong form of their in your last sentence.

      Otherwise: brilliant!

      • indaburg - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        Actually, the comment is far from brilliant and has a lot wrong with it. He missed a comma after the word bullpen. The second sentence is a fragment and lacks a verb. The third sentence is a real mess. It is missing either a period or conjunction after the word “problem.” It is also a run on sentence. The fourth sentence is using the wrong form of “its.” It is missing the apostrophe and should be “it’s.” The last sentence is missing a comma and some sort of conjunction. You already pointed out the problem with the word “there.”

        Typical conservative. Illiterate.

      • cur68 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        ‘burg, I mostly agree, BUT the missing comma in the first sentence (after “bullpen”) is a matter of style. Now if there was set style on this blog for the Oxford Comma, or of this was APA which demands the OC convention, then yeah, it needs a comma. Otherwise the lack of comma after “bullpen” is fine. A small point, but we can try to be charitable when there is so much else legitimately wrong

      • kalinedrive - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM

        Don’t forget the difference between then and than.

      • indaburg - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM

        Cur, the nuns drilled into my head that I should use a comma prior to a conjunction in a series of three or more items, and nursing school required APA style. You are right though; there is some controversy over its usage. I’ll give him a pass on that one. (Could your Jays please score tonight?)

        Thanks, kaline. I missed that one.

    • sabatimus - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Keep your politics out of my baseball.

    • indaburg - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      No pitching and bats? Excuse me? The team as it was at the start of the season is pretty much the same team that at this time last year was predicted to go to the World Series.

  18. vallewho - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM


  19. bw1980 - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Did he say “putting in the right relief pitchers to win games”? Like when he put Aceves, fresh off his suspension, out there to give up five runs to the Angels and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

    • paperlions - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      Obviously, you have a very narrow definition of win. I’m sure Valentine felt like he was winning as he watched Aceves melt down.

  20. doctorfootball - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    If the guy has a right to ask the question then Bobby V. has every right to answer in the manner that he did. Like him or not, he’s a professional. That’s an insulting question. I’m a Yankee fan and I don’t mind defending him on this one. It was an idiotic question and it got the appropriate response.

    • sabatimus - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Being asked if he “checked out” is certainly a loaded question, but I’m not sure it’s entirely inappropriate given the “does it even really matter?” stuff he said a little while back. His comments about being “miserable” also lend credence to the idea that he just doesn’t care anymore.

      • paperlions - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        I agree. Valentine’s recent demeanor on the field and his post-game comments pretty much invited this question. There were a lot of ways to go with his response….threatening physical violence, probably not one of the better options.

  21. savoirlaire - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    You get what you pay for…WORST HIRE EVER! Not hard to foresee this when they hired this whacko. Basically the baseball version of Bobby Petrino, some good there, but it comes with a big risk. Nice hire, moronic Sox!

  22. bigleagues - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Here’s my takeaway . . . from this:

    1) Defiant sounding? Yes, 100% I support that observation.

    2) Wacky? Maybe in the context of the robotron responses the we have come to expect from so-called ‘modern managers’.

    3) I agree with Valentine that the report he was late to the ballpark was a cheap shot in crafting a narrative that would be certain to generate click-through’s, despite being appropriated fact.

    4) While I do not believe for a second that Valentine is mailing it in, I do think that one of his answers to Michael Holley toward the end of the interview suggests that he is resigned to being dismissed at the end of the season.

    5) This interview confirmed to me that the problem is not so much with Bobby Valentine’s managing, but his inability to interface with modern media in the standard safe-speak, CYOA manner that we have become accustomed to. And that’s compounded by the collective and individual perception of writers and the speculative things they write based on what they know (or think they know).

    When a reporter misappropriates a fact for the self-serving purpose of a good storyline, the way he or she presents that inaccuracy is amplified and repeated ad infinitum. Kind of like that sexy picture you sent your ex that somehow ends up on a “real amateurs’ website. Once it’s out there . . . it ain’t coming back.

    Again Bobby doesn’t speak robot as proficiently as Terry Francona did. It’s obvious that he wears his heart on his sleeve. It’s also obvious that he doesn’t care to answer questions the way reporters think he should answer. And in today’s media climate that may be the most legitimate criticism about him – if it’s a legit criticism at all. It may actually be more of a commentary on how messages sent and received via mass media are interpreted, re-packaged and processed and how we, the reader, through our personal filters re-interpret the messages being given to us.

    Finally, when I heard Michael Holley set up the Mohegan Sun’s Dinner with the Big Show question, I can’t be the only one who immediately had this pop into my head:

    • petey1999 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      Thanks for a thoughtful post, big. Of course, you’re in the minority on this blog when it comes to BV.

      • bigleagues - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:47 PM

        Ha! Thanks for the moral support :-)

        I hate to say it, but I feel like this is an example of groupthink.

        It’s like it no longer matters which facts are true or not. A consensus of baseball pundits and fans have determined that Valentine is a vindictive a-hole who can’t manage his way out of a paper bag and if you don’t agree with those sentiments, you’re either dumb or there must be something wrong with you.

        I have thought all along he was a bad fit for this market and for this team . . . but not because of his baseball acumen, which I believe to be exceptional, but rather, because you need to be able filter the message like Francona . . . and very few can do that as effectively as he did.

        So his inability to interface with the media effectively has now morphed into this notion that he is a terrible manager which in and of itself is absurd.

        I’ve been pretty neutral on Valentine all season, but the dumping on him – particularly by the media – has reached bizarro levels. And really, who can blame the guy for lashing out a little bit and defend himself against the constant reporting of his real or perceived flaws?

        On a smaller level, some of the most vocal Valentine critics here on HBT have used creative license with their anti-Bobby rhetoric taking it to purely fictitious levels.

        The thing is, I don’t know Bobby Valentine, but I did have the opportunity to speak with him a couple of times, and I grew up along the CT coast not to far from Stamford and witnessed plenty of the good that Bobby has done for charity and the community and I know people who have worked with him and alongside of him – in baseball and out.

        Bobby isn’t the most eloquent public speaker. Awkward, even. I think that’s pretty obvious to everyone. But he doesn’t speak that way because he’s self-centered . . . he speaks that way because he is an old-fashioned kind of guy who is a bit of a square. When he attempts to sound cool, it just doesn’t come out right.

        I’ve never known anyone who knows him personally to say anything bad about the guy. That’s why as much as I loved Youkilis’ intensity on the field, I believe that whatever the issues were between him and Valentine – were far more driven by Youk’s abrasive nature than anything that Valentine said – publicly or not.

        Anyway, I’ve typed way more than my fair share about this. Thanks again.

        And when I feel the urge to dump on someone based on what I know of a person based solely on media reports, I’m gonna check myself more carefully before I do.

  23. psousa1 - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    He gave an idiotic answer to a idiotic question. WTF do they expect him to say “Oh, yeah I checked out”. He shouldn’t even do these shows. He’s even snotty to his man Michael Kay in NY.

    Too bad. He definitely would have helped a team of young guys – KC, Baltimore type of teams not a group of veterans who were set in their ways. I think some of the guys he inherited – Youkilis, Pedroia, Lester and Beckett still thought they were the reigning World Series champs.

    I think ownership also misled Bobby V. They had to know this would happen. These are not dumb guys. I think this was a giant ‘F – you’ to the players for the way they have let them down for the previous 2 seasons. It was like “Yeah, you dumped on your man Tito? Watch this”.

  24. willclarkgameface - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Sure, he’s lost his mind and yes, this is MOSTLY his fault. But come on. Boston media is SHIT and relentless. He just wants to manage baseball. The media wants to make stories and paint pictures. They aren’t artists and let’s be honest – they aren’t even good writers.

    Again, I feel bad for Bobby and I’m going to continue that feeling until he gets fired later this week when the team gets back into Boston. And then it’s time to worry about the next flesh these vultures will hunt down and eat alive.

    • paperlions - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      I don’t know that the team’s performance is mostly his fault, but it should have been obvious that he was not the man for the job. He doesn’t not profile as a manager (baseball or otherwise) of personnel. He can’t “rally troops”, he is contemptuous of those that work for him, and he publicly casts blame on those for things that are actually his responsibility (like pulling the team together to create a good work atmosphere…that is the manager’s job).

      It isn’t that Valentine is mostly at fault, it is that he is 0% of the solution.

  25. dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Really throws Pedroia under the bus in at the 10 minute mark when he says “his effort wasn’t what was needed to pull this club together.”

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