BOSTON (CBS) – If there is one man who knows Bobby Valentine, it is his former manager Tommy Lasorda, who also knows a thing or two about baseball.
Lasorda was one of the many people Valentine called for advice when interviewing for the Red Sox managerial job, and now that he has it, the Hall of Famer knows Bobby V will have a successful run in Boston.
“I’ve seen him plan for a game. I’ve never seen many managers do that,” Lasorda told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller. “He can plan for that game as good as anybody I’ve ever seen.”
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“He’s got a lot of enthusiasms, and what he’s got to do is get that team to play for the name on the front of the shirt, not for the name on the back. If he can do that, he’ll be successful,” said Lasorda.
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“That’s the ability that the manager has to have, to be able to put them all together. You have to get them all on one end of the rope and pull together. If you can do that, then you’re going to have success. If half get on one end and the other half on the other, you can pull all day long and all you’re doing is pulling against yourself. You have to take 25 guys and make them believe they are the best in baseball. And he can do that.”
Lasorda should know about being a good manager. He led the Los Angeles Dodgers for 20 years, managing over 3,000 games. He went 1,599-1,439, winning two World Series in the 1980s.
He is also very familiar with Valentine, who broke into the Majors with Lasorda leading the way. After being drafted by LA in 1968, Valentine was managed by Lasorda in rookie ball, Triple-A and in the Dominican Republic.
With Valentine calling him during the interview process, Lasorda knows how excited he is for the new challenge.
“Here’s a place he wanted to come. He could have been with a few other clubs, I know that, but he didn’t want to be there. He wants to be in Boston,” said Lasorda. “The minute he got the chance to manage in Boston he grabbed it real fast.”
“He loves Boston; there are a lot of Italians in Boston and he’ll get along in the city.”
Lasorda also said Bill Buckner would be a great choice to join Valentine on the Boston bench, but don’t expect the 84-year-old to join the staff.
“I’ll be 85 in September… I can manage right now, I really could. But I’m not going to, because my wife will not allow me to ever manage again,” Lasorada joked.