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Bobby Valentine offers high praise to John Farrell, Ben Cherington

Oct 22, 2013, 8:44 AM EDT

Bobby Valentine

This Boston Globe/Nick Cafardo interview with Bobby Valentine is going to get linked and tweeted about a lot today because, buried deep inside, Valentine opines that, had he stayed with the Red Sox for 2013, he thinks he could have turned the ship around. But to the extent people play the “OMG, look at what that deluded nut Valentine said!” game, they’re being pretty unfair to the guy.

Yes, he said he thinks he could have won with the 2013 Red Sox. But that little bit is surrounded by tons of high praise for John Farrell, Ben Cherington and the players on the 2013 Red Sox team. Indeed, if anything, this is about as magnanimous and un-self-centered a set of comments Valentine will ever offer when something directly related to him comes up. Here’s the entire quote:

“I’d like to think that if I came back for my second year that, given the changes and improvements, I would have been able to do the same thing,” Valentine said. “Ben did a great job this offseason rebuilding the team. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. Usually a team will go after one or two free agents and hope they work out. When you’re signing seven or eight guys and they all work out and blend in together as well as they did, that’s amazing to me. The entire organization should be very proud of what they did. They should take a bow. It was amazing work.”

The “blending” thing — in addition to some more direct comments earlier — is clearly Valentine’s hats-off to Farrell. The comments about Cherington and the roster makeover are clear. The bit about “if I came back …” well, what do you expect him to say?  “Really, Nick, if they brought me back this season it would have been like a flaming bag of crap on someone’s front porch. I mean, we woulda stunk on ice!”  Of course the guy is going to say he could have done a better job. He’s a former athlete and all-around confident person. It’d be news if the guy was suddenly defeatist.

As it is: good on Valentine for offering praise in a situation where a lot of guys may have offered it more backhandedly or, more likely, declined comment at all. If anyone is playing the “Bobby V. said something crazy!” game with this, they’re misrepresenting the man.

  1. bfunk1978 - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Wow, Bobby, that first sentence is telling – he’s saying “I coulda done that,” even though no, he was not capable of pulling people together.

  2. rickdobrydney - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    He’s a sly one, Valentine—-he knows he has major damage control after his idiotic 911/New York comments. Hence the magnanimous Sox comments. This clown will never have a job with another major league team .

    • hughhansen - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      If he was really sly he wouldn’t have put himself in a situation that needed major damage control.

  3. criticalthinker03 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Craig,

    Can’t we for once get an honest opinion out of you, rather than an effort to appease those in your circle? You travel(ed) to Stamford, CT quite a bit in order to rub shoulders with those at NBC Sports. Stamford just happens to be Bobby V’s hometown. Now, as readers, are we truly supposed to believe that you do not think this is an effort by Bobby V to do what he has done his entire career…that is, to take the spotlight away from those deserving in order remind folks that he still in fact exists? What did I expect him to say? “This is John’s team now, let him have his moment.” Nope, instead we are fed with a line of crap about how “If I were still there…” and you wag your tail and write up a nice little article about him so that he might buy you a beer at his hole of a restaurant next time you’re in town.

    • cur68 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      There’s this:
      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/09/11/bobby-valentine-would-like-you-to-know-that-the-mets-were-better-than-the-yankees-post-911/

      And this:
      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/09/27/bobby-valentines-911-comments-may-have-cost-him-a-gig-with-tbs/

      And of course, this:
      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/09/12/bobby-valentine-not-backing-down-from-his-the-yankees-werent-around-following-911-comments/

      Then there was all the in-season 2012 stuff, all by Craig. But hey, don’t let some facts spoil such a a good narrative.

      C’mon. Tell the truth: you’re either Mike Lupica or Craig stole your girlfriend…or BOTH! Anyhow, perhaps you should stick to PFT where the writing is never smeared with even a soupçon of reasonableness or critical thought? Clearly this baseball stuff isn’t for you.

    • paperlions - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Please change your handle. It is hard enough to get people to think critically, your false advertisement as to what critical thinking represents won’t help.

      • criticalthinker03 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        You voted Obama…twice…didn’t you? Actually, you probably didn’t vote at all.

    • unclemosesgreen - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      Hey look everyone – we have a new entrant for the stupidest / most obnoxious new commenter competition. Seriously, I love that you named yourself “critical thinker” and then proceeded to vomit all over the keyboard and then bash your forehead into the puddle of vomit. Keep up the good work you fucking vomit-covered pinhead.

      • criticalthinker03 - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Instead of attacking the intelligence level of someone who you do not even know, why not take the opportunity to display your “critical” thinking skills and refute the points that I made in my original post? I’d venture a bet that you probably learned a thing or two from my post.

      • unclemosesgreen - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        I didn’t learn a single thing except that you are a complete and utter moron. Your idiocy sounded familiar though, is that because all idiots basically sound alike or because you routinely post idiocy under another screen name?

        You clearly demonstrated your intelligence and obnoxiousness levels for anyone who can read and think. There’s nothing to refute, the illogic of connecting this post to Bobby V.’s hometown and HardballTalk’s home city is clear enough. People who take unrelated facts and attempt to argue a logical connection are illogical. People who are as senselessly obnoxious as you are deserve to get smacked down.

        I’d double down on your losing bet and assume that you’re also a Ted Cruz fan.

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        Jesus Christ moses….

        That opening salvo was fantastic.

      • unclemosesgreen - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        I’m available for bar mitzvahs & children’s parties.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      I think you’ll find, if you took the time to look, that my pieces about Valentine run about 10-1 critical-praising.

      But by all means, go with whatever makes you feel better.

  4. futbolhistorian - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Bobby-V is a blow hard. Everyone knows it. Bobby-V even knows it. No matter who says what, including himself, everyone still knows Bobby-V is a blow hard. Period. End of story.

  5. xpensivewinos - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Valentine could not have done this, because no matter what “changes and improvements”Cherington made, Valentine’s divisive and passive-aggressive style would have alienated this team as well. Pedroia, Middlebrooks, Ortiz, on and on…… they all hated his guts.

    Perhaps at one time he was a leader of men, but he’s nothing more than a narcissist at this point and he’s become more cartoon than manager. Unfortunately, Larry Lucchino was the only one on earth not to realize that last year.

    • unclemosesgreen - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      At least Lucchino recognized a kindred spirit in Bobby V. Cartoonish narcissists have to stick together.

  6. steve7921 - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    All I want for Christmas is for people to stop talking about Bobby V.

    • zzalapski - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      Sadly, Christmas isn’t here yet.

  7. psunick - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Sorry, Craig. You are off base here.

    The man is simply not capable of turning any discussion into anything other than about him.

  8. aceshigh11 - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    At least by Valentine’s usual standards, he really said nothing wrong here.

    As Craig said, no MLB manager, current or former (ALL of whom have healthy egos, let there be no doubt), is going to say, “Oh, I DEFINITELY would’ve crashed and burned had I been managing that team.”

    • peterjohnjoseph - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      He could of just as easily said nothing at all about what he would of done. Granted, we don’t know what the line of questioning was. I like to believe a less egotistical person would of somehow deflected the question, even if flat out asked. Something along the lines of “Well, I never got that chance, and the man that did has done a great job, so while I like the play the ‘what if’s’ in my head, Ferrell has done as good a job as anyone at creating a potential Champion.” would of taken all the heat off of a man who knows he turns the ignitor up a few degrees every time he opens his mouth. He references it in the article, he does all he can to stay away from it. I for one believe he just has no filter, and no idea that what he’s saying will be vilified the way it is.

  9. dakotaandotter - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Bobby V’s right in saying it is amazing that this many signings turned out well but what he fails to understand is that they needed the right culture in which that could happen. in my opinion Bobby V does not create good culture so I doubt very much this team would have performed well under his leadership.

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