The Pros And Cons Of Bobby Valentine

We all know what's coming, don't we? I'm not sure even Gene Lamont's mom waits around a month for Gene Lamont. With Bobby Valentine all but inaugurated as the next manager of the Boston Red Sox (he gets an inauguration, right? Big parade, speech, everyone buys comically large buttons and misses work?) I thought I'd root around these interwebs and see what I can dig up about Bobby V. Because I'm lazy and not very good at my job, I've arranged them as the always hackneyed pros 'n cons. For added comedy effect (or any comedy effect) may I suggest reading the below in the style of an 2am infomercial announcer.

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Pro: Anyone with their own beer can't be all bad. Valentine's time in Japan was so successful they stuck his face on a can of Japanese lager. On the can, a cartoonish Valentine says, "Building our dream" which, aside from not actually meaning anything, isn't something you'd think one would do after ingesting crappy beer.

Con: Valentine also has his own burger in Japan. The ad says it's a "Good Choice!" and "It's American!" though you'd think those two would be synonymous. I mean, name one bad decision America has ever made. Also not to be missed, at the top right of the ad, Valentine says of his burger, "It's Magic!" which, to me, makes it less appetizing than before when I thought it was a normal non-magic hunk of shredded cow. All this brings up an important question: what does magic taste like? I hope barbecue.

Pro: Thanks to Bobby Valentine, the Dugout Master of Disguise, kids all over New England will have a great new Halloween costume to choose from besides the normal boring goblins, ghouls, and Justin Bieber. Perhaps that last part was redundant. Valentine's most well known stunt of reappearing in the dugout after getting ejected in dark sunglasses and a fake mustache might have been funnier and no less effective had he gone all the way and put on Groucho glasses and a Carrot Top wig. We can all look forward to the time when he gets thrown out and comes back into the dugout dressed like Theo Epstein. Or Heidi Watney.

Con: Valentine is the only manager I'm aware of who has been fired on two continents by GMs who actively hated him, and I've been exhaustively researching this for ten minutes now so it must be true. He was fired from his initial stint as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japanese league and from the Mets, both times by GMs who had grown to actively despise their manager. In Valentine's defense he was chummy with Rangers GM Tom Grieve when he was fired in Texas. So, you know, it could work out.  

Pro: In that aforementioned research, looking through some of the controversial stuff Valentine is known for, some of it seems to be the creation of a highly sensitive and voracious New York Media. Take the Whartongate affair, a speaking engagement at Penn where Valentine supposedly trashed his team and the front office during the season in front of about one hundred undergrads. The New York media freaked the [redacted] out, but the reality was much tamer than they'd have you believe. In fact, Valentine didn't say much of an inflammatory nature, but GM Steve Phillips immediate over-reaction to the non-story was, like most everything he did in the GMs chair, not helpful.

Con: Valentine is, according to SI.com, an "ex-ballroom dance champ." Please, just no.

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You can start see a portrait emerge of Valentine as a complex man. He has strong opinions about baseball and has had success both as a player and a manager. He also has strong opinions about how a team should play that may not jive with how new GM Ben Cherington wants to run his squad. Yet he's clearly a smart guy, a modern renaissance man. He's is a restaurant owner, a player, a former player, a successful manager, an unsuccessful manager, a punchline, a manager of the year candidate, a national hero, a television announcer, and the public safety director for the city of Stamford, Connecticut. He also might be the next manager of the Boston Red Sox. But then he might not. Especially if Gene Lamont's mom has any say in the matter.

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