Bobby Valentine: Potentially Poisonously Patient Person

Bobby Valentine hides below the frame during a press conference introducing him as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on December 1, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

We're all familiar with the Problems-With-Bobby-Valentine meme by now. Valentine has called out one of his best players in the media for no apparent reason, he's structured the lineup in questionable ways, and maybe most importantly he's shown a proclivity to leave his pitchers on the mound too long. It's this last and potentially most harmful aspect that we're going to explore.

Clearly Valentine is late on the draw when it comes to taking out his starters. It's happened at least three times this year and had unfortunate results each time. We here at OTM were concerned that leaving starting pitchers in too long might be just the tip of the iceberg with Valentine. Maybe this extends to other areas of his life. To find out, we assigned our crack staff of crack smokers to crack the case. In an exhaustive project that I just made up, Valentine was studied from every conceivable angle (by which I mean the internet) to see if this issue manifests elsewhere. The results are below, but first a warning:

Warning!

There. You've been warned.

Before you see the below results, the United States Surgeon General has determined that you should view this material sitting down. Don't operate heavy machinery while reading this, like say, a bottle opener, a mailbox, or a goat. We say this for your protection because, to be honest, the results may surprise you. They may shock you. And! They may even surprise you.

OTM's surveillance has picked up the following conversations that reveal, we believe, a pattern. First there was Bobby Valentine's opening press conference. We were all hyped up for it so maybe we missed what was really going on at the time, but looking back at this portion of it reveals... well, something interesting:

Larry Lucchino: We're honored to introduce Bobby Valentine as the next manager of the Boston Red Sox.
Reporter: Bobby! Bobby! Can you talk a little bit about how the interviews went?
Bobby Valentine: ...
Reporter: Bobby! Bobby! What are you looking forward to most this year?
Valentine: ... [eats cracker]
Reporter: Bobby! Who are the players you're most looking forward to working with?
Valentine: The interviews were tough. We covered every scenario possible. Say, does anyone have a cracker?

* * *

Of course we forgot about it and went about our lives. Then spring training came and this happened:

Valentine: OK, guys, we're going to take some infield. It's just the first day so nothing too strenuous. In fact, I'm going to hit a few to the infielders here myself.
Valentine: [puts fungo bat on shoulder] [tosses ball into the air]
Valentine: ...
Valentine: [ball hits ground]
Valentine: ...
Valentine: ...
Valentine: [swings bat]

* * *

That piqued our interest. A few days afterwards, we noticed something odd when, on the way home from practice, Valentine pulled up to a gas station.

Valentine: [puts nozzle into tank]
Valentine: ...
Valentine: ...
Valentine: ...
Other Customer: Hey, aren't you Bobby Valentine?
Valentine: ...
Valentine: ...
Other Customer: Uh, hey man, yer tank seems to be over-flowing there.
Valentine: ...
Other Customer: Dude, yer spilling gas everywhere.
Valentine: ...
Other Customer: Whatever... [leaves]
Valentine: Why yes, I am Bobby Valentine.

* * *

This behavior was beginning to present as a pattern. Valentine is, it appears, late to react to things. But more evidence was needed to come to a solid conclusion. This is, after all, science or something. A few days later, Valentine was observed at a restaurant with some friends.

Valentine: Can I pour you some more wine, Joe?
Joe
: Sure wait! No, I can get it. Thanks, Bobby.
Valentine: ...
Joe: [talks to other friends]
Joe: Ha ha! So true, so true...
Valentine: Suit yourself.
Waiter: Can I get you all some more drinks? Have you had enough time to review the menu? Are you ready to order?
Valentine: ...
Waiter: ...
Valentine: ...
Waiter: ...I can come ba
Valentine: I would love another drink, thanks. And come on, Joe, let me pour you some wine.

* * *

Shortly afterwards the tapping of Valentine's phone payed dividends:

Recorded Voice: Thank you for calling America First Bank: America's Eighth First Bank. Please listen closely as our menu options have changed to confuse you. For your account balance, please press 1. To speak with a Caring Customer Care Servicing Care Representative, please press 2. To eat a bag of..
Valentine: Eighth? That's ridiculous
Recorded Voice: I didn't understand your answer. Let's try again. For your account balance, please press 1. To speak with a Caring Customer Care Servicing Care Representative, please press 2. To eat a bag of..
Valentine: Eighth? That's ridiculous.
Recorded Voice: I didn't understand your answer. Let's try again. For your account balance, please press 1. To speak with a Caring Customer Care Servicing Care Representative, please press 2. To eat a bag of..
Valentine: Eighth? That's ridiculous.
Recorded Voice: I didn't understand your answer. Let's try again. For your account balance, please press 1. To speak with a Caring Customer Care Servicing Care Representative, please press 2. To eat a bag of..
Valentine: Eighth? That's ridiculous.

* * *

All these interactions paint a picture and not a particularly flattering one. Valentine's reactions to every day things are delayed, held back until after his response makes sense, at which point it's offered. With that information in our collective pocket at least leaving Bard, Doubront, and Lester out there on the mound makes more sense. It wasn't that Bobby wasn't paying attention or thought it simply wasn't the right time to remove the pitcher in question. No, in reality, it's none of those things.

The problem is much more serious, much more personal, and much scarier. How do you handle something like this? How will he argue with umpires if the conversation will likely center around something that happened days ago? Should Valentine just prepare to make every pitching change in the third inning because by the time he actually does it, it'll be the seventh? Should he start to take the lineup card out to the home plate area two hours before anyone arrives at the park?

As our final piece of evidence, we've received in the mail a brown envelope containing audio of what appears to be Bobby Valentine's wedding day. Bells can clearly be heard at the beginning as well as Valentine's distinctive voice though it's muffled until this part:

Officiant: And do you, Bobby Valentine, take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?
Valentine: ...
Valentine: ...
Valentine: ...
Bride: [slaps him] [leaves]
Valentine: ...
Valentine: ...
Valentine: You bet I do!

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