Tag: bobby valentine

Red Sox Hire Bobby Valentine

In case you haven’t heard, former Mets utilityman Bobby Valentine has been chosen by the Boston Red Sox to be their manager in 2012.

Valentine also managed the Mets at one point — if memory serves correctly, he was in the dugout the last time the Mets went to the World Series.

Personally, I’m thrilled to see Bobby V. back in MLB as a skipper, and believe he’s a good fit for Boston right now. His love for the spotlight will take pressure off the Red Sox players, and his hands-on, disciplinarian approach is the right contrast to follow the laid-back Terry Francona. The question is how long before Bobby rubs the Boston media the wrong way — a few months? a year? He’ll surely butt heads with a few of the current Bosox players; I’m betting on John Lackey to be the first to lock horns with Bobby V. But jeez louise, if Valentine could lead a team like the 2000 Mets to 94 wins and a World Series, what will he do with REAL talent? If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch.

What say you? Will you be following Bobby Valentine’s exploits in Boston? Rooting for, or against? Do you wish he was back in Flushing? Why or why not?


Rangers Sign Joe Nathan

In case you missed it, the Texas Rangers have signed former Twins closer Joe Nathan to a two-year, $14.5M contract that includes an option for 2014.

Sorry Timo.

Apparently, Nathan was uninterested in the Mets’ generous and complex offer that consisted of an unlimited Metro Card, 10 copies of the Playing for Peanuts Uncensored 3-DVD set, gift certificates to the Shake Shack, 50 bags of popcorn, a poster signed by Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, and an undetermined amount of expired green stamps. But hey, you have to give the Mets’ front office credit for being creative.

With Joe Nathan off the market, I suppose the Mets will set their sights on Matt Capps, Frankie Francisco, and/or Fernando Rodney. Though, none of the three are old enough to know what green stamps are, and that could make the Mets offer appear less valuable.

In other news, former Mets captain of grission Ty Wigginton has been traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Philadelphia Phillies. A nice move for the Phils, who add Wiggy to a bench that already includes free-agent signee Jim Thome. Not too shabby — a solid one-two pinch-hitting punch for the late innings.

Another individual once associated with the Mets — Bobby Valentine — has emerged as the top candidate for the Boston Red Sox open managerial position. I can’t imagine a better fit for both parties.

As for the Mets, they are reportedly kicking the tires on Jack Wilson. Wow. Can you imagine? Talk about trumping all the above-mentioned news. It would be a quite a coup for the Mets if they can find a way to fit Wilson into their payroll … and of course, who would miss Jose Reyes if Jack Wilson were playing shortstop? Cross your fingers, and perhaps Christmas will come early for Mets fans!


Pridie Gone, Evans and Buchholz Free

The Oakland Athletics have signed Jason Pridie, who was waived by the Mets a few days ago and exercised his right to become a free agent.

Interesting the Pridie was able to find employment so quickly. Just as interesting, that the great genius Himself — Billy Beane — is who signed him. Makes you wonder: did the brilliant Mets front office blunder? Which of Pridie’s stats is Beane looking at and deeming a market inefficiency? Is Pridie the next Scott Hatteberg? Inquiring minds want to know …

In all seriousness, I like Pridie and believed it made sense for the Mets to keep him around. But, the fact they let him go makes me believe that the Mets will tender a contract to Angel Pagan, since there are no other centerfielders in the organization with MLB experience (OK, maybe you can count Fernando Martinez and Jason Bay). Not that Pridie would have had a shot at starting in 2012, but he was a solid backup. What do you think? Is this a move designed to insure that Captain Kirk Nieuwenhuis moves up the totem pole and gets a legit shot at MLB playing time in 2012? If so I’m happy with that plan.

In other news, both Nick Evans and Taylor Buchholz have officially declared free agency. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will flee Flushing. But it does mean they are free to explore all options. I know that Evans is not likely to become an everyday player for a championship team, but I do believe he has value to someone. I can see him turning into a Garrett Jones — getting a chance to play fairly regularly for a bad team, putting up surprising power numbers, and making a decent living for himself as part-time MLBer. I also still think he should consider donning the tools of ignorance, just to add some value as an emergency backstop.

As for Buchholz, there is still a question as to whether he will pitch for anyone in 2012, since he is still dealing with depression. I believe that a healthy Buchholz can be a solid middle reliever. But, I also put his need to heal from his mental issues over my desire for him to pitch for the Mets, and if to become mentally healthy it makes more sense for him to play elsewhere, I’m not going to begrudge the guy nor get upset about him leaving. Obviously I have no knowledge of the details of his challenges but I do know that New York is one of the most stressful places in the world to live and work — even if one is not a MLB player. Buchholz seems like a nice kid with legit talent so I hope he gets through this and is able to play baseball again, be it in New York or elsewhere — if that’s what he wants to do.

Two other former Mets free agents are in the news: Omar Minaya and Bobby Valentine. Both, apparently, are being considered for jobs with the Boston Red Sox. Interesting, no?


Wally Backman: Tea Party Candidate?

Being that it’s Election Day and all, I wonder if the next Mets manager could be based on the results of a vote by the people?

Of course this is a fantasy, but hypothetically speaking, who would be the candidates in such an election, and what parties would they represent?

Bob Melvin: Republican, conservative
He’ll stay the course, and dutifully follow the orders set forth by the right-wing lobbyists / upper middle class.

Ken Macha: Democrat, liberal
He’ll also stay the course, but appeal to the left-wing lobbyists / lower middle class.

Bobby Valentine: write-in candidate

He doesn’t consider himself a candidate, but openly lobbies for the job (this is different from Adam Rubin lobby for job) without a party endorsement.

Joe Lieberman: Lieberman Party
Who else is qualified to run as the Lieberman Party candidate? There are a bunch of Mets fans in Connecticut.

Clint Hurdle: Christian Right / Christian Coalition
He will make sure Mets players uphold the virtues set forth by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Chip Hale: Reform Party
Endorsed by Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura, Hale symbolizes the party’s core belief in centrism.

Tim Teufel: Constitution Party

They couldn’t convince Pat Buchanan to join the ranks, but Tim Teufel would seem a more feasible party leader.

Joe McEwing: Green Party

Ralph Nader became famous after writing the book Unsafe At Any Speed. Similarly, Super Joe’s career 62% basestealing percentage (33 SB, 20 CS) made him unsafe at any speed.

Ken Oberkfell: Worker’s Party
The symbol of the working man, Oberkfell embodies the party’s fundamental vision that all men have a right to a secure job.
Wally Backman: Boston Tea Party
The Tea Partyers long for the the way things were in the 1980s, and tap into the majority’s anger with the two-party system. Like most Tea Party candidates, he is a darkhorse, but on everyone’s radar.


Why Bobby Valentine Won’t Be the Next Mets Manager

Ever since Willie Randolph was fired — and probably even before — there has been a groundswell supporting the return of Bobby Valentine to Flushing as manager of the futiles.

As time goes on, the legend of Bobby spreads further and grows larger — to the point where many Mets fans have reached a point where any other choice for manager seems illogical.

Ah, how the passage of time clouds memories, heals wounds, and distorts reality.


Will the Manager Be the Big Acquisition?

Ken Davidoff reports that the Mets are already discussing names for various leadership roles, including the on-field manager:

It doesn’t sound as though Bobby V. is the favorite, however. The Mets will be hesitant to pay Valentine the “star manager” money (think about $3 million annually) that he deserves, and although Valentine and the Wilpons have maintained good relations the past eight years, there might be hesitance to re-enter into a working agreement.

Nevertheless, given that public relations and ticket sales will factor heavily into this decision – there are no new star players coming through that door, so the manager will be it – we can’t discount Valentine II.

Davidoff also suggests that Omar Minaya will be replaced by another GM, but I don’t know how much a General Manager directly affects ticket sales — the average fan (i.e., those that don’t read Mets blogs every day) tends to have more of a connection to the manager in the dugout than the one in the front office.

One must wonder if the hiring of the next Mets manager will be the “big” acquisition of the offseason.

Every winter the Mets make a big splash of some sort to improve the club generate ticket sales. For 2005 it was Pedro Martinez / Carlos Beltran; 2006 it was Carlos Delgado / Billy Wagner; 2007 was Moises Alou; 2008, Johan Santana; 2009, K-Rod / Putz; 2010, Jason Bay. Considering that the Mets are unlikely to shell out the money for a huge free-agent such as Cliff Lee, and don’t have the trading chips to acquire a similarly big name, their “big splash” could well be the naming of a new manager.

Ironically, Davidoff could be right when he states that Bobby Valentine’s salary could be too rich for the Wilpons’ taste. It’s funny that the owners wouldn’t blink at approving $36M for Oliver Perez or $25M for Luis Castillo, yet have serious reservations about spending $3M on Bobby Valentine. Makes one wonder.

But three million dollars for a manager beloved by fans is a heckuva lot less than $85-$100M+ for a 32-year-old pitcher whose presence may have less impact on putting fannies in the seats. This point is especially important when you consider that on his own, Cliff Lee is unlikely to be the “last piece” of the puzzle that sends the Mets into the postseason. The Mets have several issues to address — the health of Johan Santana and Carlos Beltran, the closer role, Jason Bay’s return to form, for example — and one big-name player can’t fix them all. However, a new manager with a track record of success in Flushing and ability to entertain the press will give the franchise a new face to look at, and promote the image of good things to come. Even if the Mets struggle through another losing record in 2011, the combination of new leadership in the dugout and home-grown youngsters on the field will be enough to sell tickets through 2012. Who knows it might even result in a playoff appearance by 2013.

From a business perspective, making a manager the “big” acquisition makes good sense — it’s a low-risk, low-cost proposition that is likely to result in positive returns. We’ll soon see if that’s the “splash” the Mets make this winter.


Friday Mets Links: Wally B or Bobby V?

MLB.com – Marty Noble thinks Wally Backman should be the Mets next manager.

SI.com – Jeff Pearlman thinks the Mets are baseball’s worst franchise and Bobby Valentine should be the next manager.

No more links for today. This is the most important discussion in the Mets-o-sphere for the next 3 months. Both Noble and Pearlman make excellent points and the Mets would be better off with either manager. What do YOU think?