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The Boston Red Sox are expected to present Bobby Valentine as the team’s new manager at a Fenway Park press conference Thursday.
Valentine played Major League Baseball for more than a decade and managed the Texas Rangers and the New York Mets for a total of 15 seasons, making it to the World Series once. He’s known for his charismatic, irascible personality, and that’s expected to shake things up in more ways than one.
Valentine is anything but boring. Take the time he was ejected from a game for complaining about an umpire’s call. The Mets manager didn’t watch the final innings from the clubhouse. He snuck back into the dugout, wearing sunglasses and a fake mustache. Even the TV announcers didn’t fall for the disguise.
That’s the sort of passion for the game and flair that Boston sports writers are looking forward to.
“A lover of the limelight” is what Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley calls Bobby V. And according to Buckley, that’s what the Red Sox need right now.
"I think it’s more about Sox fans having fun. I’m not too concerned about the players having fun," Buckley said.
Which is what Buckley’s hearing, that players are grumbling about the guy who’s going to come in and give them a push, and maybe steal more of their spotlight.
Valentine’s flamboyance has gotten him into trouble that way -– some sports writers, like former New York Times columnist Murray Chass, consider him smug and arrogant. But most acknowledge he knows baseball better than almost anyone. He’ll definitely bring a new wrinkle to the first series against the New York Yankees in April.
"He is, in the end, a New York guy," Buckley said. "He was born and raised just outside of New York City in Fairfield County. He managed the Mets. And now he’s managing the Red Sox, and that adds a whole new sidebar to the drama, and I can’t wait for that to happen."
Valentine will make following the Red Sox more exciting. We’ll see if he makes them better.
This program aired on December 1, 2011.
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