BOSTON (CBS) – He will be named the 45th manager of the Boston Red Sox in the coming days, but who is Bobby Valentine?
Here is a look at the next manager of the Red Sox, both in and out of baseball.
– Now 61 years old, Valentine was raised in Stamford, Connecticut, where he was a standout football player. He had the option to play at USC, where he would have replaced O.J. Simpson at tailback, but instead chose to play baseball.
– He was drafted fifth overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968, ahead of players like Bill Buckner and Cecil Cooper. He became close friends with Buckner and the two remain close.
– Valentine was named the Pioneer League MVP in 1968 and Pacific Coast League MVP in 1970. He and manager Tommy Lasorda led the Spokane Indians to a league championship in 1970.
Roche: Bobby V A Good Choice
– Valentine played 10 years in the majors for five different teams. He finished his career with a .260 batting average with 441 hits and 157 RBI in 2,189 games played. He retired at the age of 29.
– Valentine has 15 years of major league managerial experience, which began in 1985 with the Texas Rangers. The team went 53–76 after Valentine took over for Doug Radar 32 games into the season. In his first full season on the bench, he led Texas to an 87-75 record and finished second in the AL West. He spent eight seasons in Texas before being fired in 1992 after a 45-41 start. He was fired by then-team owner George W. Bush.
– After being let go by Texas, Valentine went overseas to Japan. He was named manager of Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995, but was fired after one year due to conflicts with the G.M.
– Valentine returned to the U.S. the following year, taking over the Mets Triple-A affiliate. He was named manager of the New York Mets with 31 games left in the 1996 season. New York finished 88–74 each of the next two seasons, and in 1999 they finished 97–66 to win the NL Wild Card. They made it to the NLCS, but lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games.
– One of Valentine’s most memorable games came during the 1999 season, when he was ejected in the 12th inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays for arguing a catcher’s interference call. Instead of watching the rest of the game from the clubhouse, Valentine returned to the dugout with a fake mustache and Mets t-shirt on. He was suspended three games by Major League Baseball and fined $5,000.
– The Mets made it to the World Series in 2000 after winning the Wild Card again with a 94–68 record. They beat the Cardinals in five games in the NLCS before losing to the New York Yankees,4-games-to-1 in the World Series.
– Things began to unravel for Valentine after the World Series loss. New York finished 82-80 in 2001, finishing third in the NL East, and 75-86 in 2002. His final season with the Mets was a trying one, with reports that several players smoked marijuana prior to games. After quarreling with G.M. Steve Phillips for most of his time in New York, Valentine was fired after the 2002 season.
– Valentine returned to Japan after his time with the Mets and won a championship in 2005 with the Marines, something the team had not done in 31 years. He was let go after the 2009 season after a smear campaign by the team’s general manager, but Valentine was such a fan favorite in Japan, fans protested the move.
– Upon returning to the U.S., Valentine became an analyst for ESPN, where he worked until taking the job with the Red Sox.
– Valentine is also a successful restaurateur, owning and operating “Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café” in his hometown of Stamford. He claims that he invented the wrap sandwich.
– In his 15 years on a Major League bench, Valentine owns a 1,117–1,072 record.