Friday, December 02, 2011

Valentine (seen below in famous mustache) hiring could pay off after shaky soap opera beginning-Ken Davidoff

"Because you don't hire Valentine, anyone in baseball would tell you, to maintain the status quo." 12/1/11, Ken Davidoff, "For all of the highly entertaining tales of beer and fried chicken that have hit Red Sox Nation in the last two months, you could argue that if Jonathan Papelbon had simply converted a save on Sept. 28,
  • we never would've been served this soap opera.
That the 2011 Red Sox, having come so close to making the playoffs before completing their historic collapse, needed simply to shake off the hurt and return to the baseball operations model that served them very well in the course of the previous nine seasons. In hiring Bobby Valentine as their new manager, however, the Red Sox have validated the panic crowd. They have lent credence, perhaps justifiably, to the notion that this team needed a major shake-up.
  • Because you don't hire Valentine, anyone in baseball would tell you, to maintain the status quo.
"I think that's a plus," principal owner John Henry said Thursday in response to this assertion at the news conference to introduce Valentine. "I don't think people realize that Tito [ Terry Francona , Valentine's predecessor] is a strong personality as well . . . [Valentine] may be a little more hands-on in some of the fundamental aspects of the game. I think that'll be great."...
  • Count me among the pro-Valentine crowd. He's tireless, highly intelligent and open to new ideas.
Yet in hiring Valentine, and in the way they did so, the Red Sox created the impression of front-office instability and indecision. They attempted to clean up that mess Thursday, but their explanations didn't pass the sniff test....Of course, Valentine and the Red Sox ultimately will be judged not on how they got here but what they do from here. Will the Red Sox allow for Bobby V's occasional inflammatory sound bites?
  • His public challenges of players, in a manner that Francona never utilized? The private, intense debates?
They say they're up for it after eight seasons in which Francona thrived on maintaining the peace. Valentine will test his superiors. If they pass that test? This venture could very well pay off."

(They also had a little Lord of the Flies problem with a group of pitchers. ed.)

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