Welcome to Bobby’s World everybody, don’t cha know Howie Mandel is not included. As we now finally have someone in the managers office in Fenway Park let me tell you what I like, don’t like and what falls in the middle about Sir Valentine as we as a city give him our best “moshi, moshi.”
In The Middle
He is passionate. As a fan of Red Sox baseball I want to see him get fired up, get thrown out when egregious calls have been or the team needs to sit up and pay attention. The passion will be noticeable in that regard and in press conferences after difficult losses and spectacular wins. Logically my brain wants to disagree with the fact that passion is good. For a long time in this city we have had even keeled coaches who never seem too high and too low. Belicheck being the most obvious example, but Francona was right behind him and Doc Rivers does a great job of maintaining a consistent level of emotion in the sport where emotions often run the hottest for the coach. During this time Boston as a city has won 7 titles in 4 sports. An unprecedented run for any of the 4 major sports cities. Is the coaching the only reason? Certainly not as a great run of player talent has come through the city as well, but the manager was obviously a significant part of team success.
He is baseball smart. Listening to him as an analyst for the past few years he is great at going next level and talking about many angles of the the game that are often ignored. Does this translate to the players and victories on the field? It can help, it can also hurt as there isn’t always 1 definitive answer. It has to be a compromise.
Which leads me to the rumors that its Bobby’s way or the highway and a complete lack of compromise. That isn’t going to work in a clubhouse where 6 players will be paid over 10 million dollars next year, a list of 6 that doesn’t there 2 best young players, (Pedroia 8 million and Lester 7 million) or Ellsbury’s TBD arbitration contract. If Bobby comes in and starts rocking the boat what happens? I don’t mean beer and chicken in the clubhouse, I mean the expectations of the players on a daily basis. Where is the line of demarcation for work and extra work and how does it differ for the players and for management?
I can’t take into account too much the previous teams he has managed, although he had some good teams and made some good runs he doesn’t have a great resume, but he has never had a team this “good”.1 Francona wasn’t good until he got here, just like Torre wasn’t good until he got to the Yankees so its not only about the manager it can be about circumstance and this is has been a good circumstance for a manager for the past 8 years. With all the changes going on up and down the managerial ladder at Fenway Park what circumstance is Bobby Valentine walking into? What circumstance will we as fans be walking into in April?
- I use quotes on good because I’m not exactly sure how good this team will be. They should be very good regardless of the manager, but could be very average for lots of reasons. [↩]