Red Sox Choose Valentine as Manager
New York. The Boston Red Sox have picked Bobby Valentine to be their next manager and the sides were working to complete a contract, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. An announcement could come by Thursday.
“He’s got it. I just spoke to him a little while ago,” said Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, who managed Valentine in the minors with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Valentine would succeed Terry Francona, who left after eight seasons following Boston’s record collapse in September.
Valentine previously managed in the majors with the New York Mets and Texas Rangers. He led the Mets to the 2000 World Series, where they lost to the New York Yankees in five games. He had been working as a baseball analyst for ESPN.
“I ’m happy for him. The Red Sox got themselves a good manager,” Lasorda said. “In all my years, I’ve never seen a guy prepare a team for a game like he does. That’s what makes him unique.”
The Red Sox also interviewed Gene Lamont, Torey Lovullo, Dale Sveum, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Pete Mackanin.
Valentine’s last major league managerial job was with the Mets in 2002.
Three years earlier, he was ejected for arguing a catcher’s interference call in the 12th inning of a 14-inning game against Toronto. Valentine then returned to the dugout wearing a fake mustache and sunglasses. The Mets won 4-3, but Major League Baseball suspended him for three games and fined him $5,000.
The energetic Valentine, 61, has a more confrontational style than Francona, who was known as a player’s manager. And that may be just what the Red Sox need after their late-season flop.
They led the AL East for much of the summer but went 7-20 in September, squandering a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race and finishing in third place in the division, one game behind Tampa Bay.
Francona and the team parted ways two days after the end of the regular season, with Francona saying the players needed a new voice in the clubhouse. The Red Sox didn’t pick up his option for 2012.
Valentine interviewed on Nov. 21 with general manager Ben Cherington and other members of Red Sox management.
Asked then about his philosophy of discipline, he said, “Discipline is not 30 whacks with a whip these days.
“But everyone likes discipline. Everyone likes structure. Everyone likes to be acknowledged when they do things properly. Discipline and rules and things like that — it’s just about right and wrong.”
He also was enthusiastic about the job.
“They have one of the best teams in baseball, one of the best organizations in baseball, one of the greatest venues in baseball, with a winning tradition over the last 10 years,” he said. “Other than that, there’s really no reason why I want to be here.”