BOSTON (CBS) – Bobby Valentine has interviewed with the Boston Red Sox for their open managerial position, and excited for what could be next.
“This is a great organization with a great team and a great city and ballpark; that is very attractive,” said Valentine, who met with General Manager Ben Cherington and the Red Sox brass at Fenway on Monday. “I don’t think anywhere else where there has a job opening that my name was mentioned, there have been as many fabulous factors.”
“I’m honored to be part of the group,” said the 61-year-old Valentine. “It’s really kind of cool that I’m sitting here.”
It is down to Valentine, Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont and Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo, for now. Cherington announced both Lamont and Lovullo will be in for another interview, and that Sandy Alomar Jr. is out of the running. The Red Sox could also add other candidates as the process continues.
Bobby Valentine On Interview With Red Sox
As for Valentine, he is ready to get back in the majors after a 10-year break.
Valentine has 15-years of Major League managerial experience, heading the Texas Rangers from 1985-92 and New York Mets from 1996-2002. He also managed in Japan from 2004-09, winning a championship with the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2005.
There was some question as to whether he would fit in with Boston, because of their dependency on sabremetrics and Valentine’s old-school approach. But he does not see a problem with both approaches coming together.
“I can’t imagine going forward without both. We know we need to have people that see people, and that we also need to have people that can understand what those people actually do,” said Valentine, who said he experienced the numbers game during his time in Texas.
This was Valentine’s second talk with the Red Sox, with his first coming back in November in Hartford, Connecticut. Speaking about of baseball’s global popularity alongside Larry Lucchino, Valentine went to the event early to meet with Cherington.
“The day before we went up for the panel discussion, Larry called and asked if I could arrive a few hours early and meet with Ben and (him),” Valentine recalled. “We had spoken in the past. And then Ben, of course was there. Larry left Ben and I together for a good part of that time. We did the discussion, and Larry said ‘if Ben thinks we could move forward with you, we might continue the process.”
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And so they met again on Monday. Valentine made one thing clear after his second interview: this is Cherrington’s call.
“Larry made it pretty clear that this would be Ben’s choice,” said Valentine. “That when I walked out of the room with Ben, I was hoping that I was received well enough that I would get a second tour of duty. But I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t get a phone call for a few days. That made a situation that I was really happy I had only told my wife.”
Valentine would bring a strong voice into a Red Sox clubhouse that needs someone to lead. While things ended poorly in New York, Valentine does not think struggles with the Mets were similar to Boston’s epic September collapse last season.
“I don’t know if there’s a parallel. I think everything is individual; every person is and every situation is unique to itself,” he said. “The way things were in September, I don’t think anyone experience that, and hopefully no one will have to experience the perfect storm of craziness that I experiences from afar. It’s hard for me to really parallel that stuff; I’m not smart enough for that.”
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“I’ve had bad experiences that I hoped I learned from and I’ve had good experiences that I hope I learned from. Some of those bad experiences I think I caused; some of them were caused from the surroundings. Some of the good experiences, I had something to do with and others I was just along for the ride,” said Valentine.
And he won’t be afraid to instill some discipline, something many feel the clubhouse lacked at the end of the last season.
“When you talk about discipline and rules and all of that, it’s just about right and wrong. It’s an expectation of a person representing a great organization like the Boston Red Sox; a passionate and committed team like they have up in the front office ownership, expecting them to know the different between right and wrong. On the field and off the field, when they’re talking to you and when they’re living their life. And that’s the discipline kind of thing I think I try to bring to a team,” said Valentine.