BOSTON (CBS) – It has only been a couple of weeks since Bobby Valentine was named manager of the Boston Red Sox, but so far it’s been a whirlwind for the new Sox skipper.
But you won’t hear any complaints from Valentine.
“This has all been a winter time of excitement and fun, and confusion actually. But it’s been great,” Valentine told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche for Sunday’s Sports Final. “Everyone I’ve met everywhere I’ve been, it’s just been enjoyable; I’ve been welcomed. There is so much work to do and I feel like I’m playing catch-up. I’m sure I need about 10 days to really get everything in order.”
“This is a fresh start I’m so excited about. I want to keep some of the adrenaline in and excitement in for when I get there on the 21st, which is our first day of workouts,” said Valentine. “But there is so much to lead up to that; organization meetings where I have more people to meet, more things to accomplish before we really throw out the first pitch.”
Valentine has taken time to get to know some of his new players. He took a trip to the Dominican Republic to entice then-free agent David Ortiz to come back. He’s spoken with Josh Beckett, who he said was “pissed off” about the way things ended last season.
But other than an upset Beckett, Valentine said he doesn’t want to bring up what happened last September.
“I haven’t talked to the players about it and I don’t think they want to talk about it. Eventually there will be some kind of collective wisdom that comes out of this thing that we’ll agree it’s in the past and we’ll move forward,” he said of the 7-20 month that ended the Boston season. “I wasn’t here, so I don’t want to delve into anything that had to do with some other time and space. I want to move forward. I want to deal with the things that are going to move forward.”
Bobby V, Red Sox Moving Forward
“Talking to the guys, they have a bad taste in their mouth,” he continued. “Not necessarily because of the headlines, but because they’re a great team of great players and they didn’t accomplish what they set out to do. That’s that we’re going to try to fix moving forward.”
Despite the horrid finish to last season, Valentine said his players still have plenty of pride in their game.
“It seems like they have great pride, they have great talent; they wouldn’t have the great success they’ve had without the combination of those two things,” he said. “I want to try to get the expert players to become an expert group. Somehow when that happens, we’ll all be more happy than we are right now.”
Listen: Bobby V ‘Hates The Yankees’
The Sox have a lot of work to do filling in holes in the rotation, finding a closer, and getting a right hand bat for the lineup. Valentine has been asked for his input on all the Sox needs, but he is confident GM Ben Cherington will make the right choices for the ball club.
“I’m inspired,” Valentine said of Cherington. He’s diligent, he’s prepared, he’s organized. He’s passionate about being excellent. The people who are around him believe something special is going to happen under his leadership, and I’m one of those guys.”
The end goal is a World Series championship, but for now Valentine will focus more on the present rather than next October.
“That’s so far in advance. It would mean everything to me obviously, but I’m not there yet. I don’t want to go there,” he said of championship talk. “What I do, is the stuff before all that stuff happens. If I can be part of the preparation, the execution that is necessary to win an inning, win a game, then win a week, win a division, win a playoff series that could possibly get to a parade; that’s way down the road. But I’m really into that process more than the end results.”
More From Bobby V:
Did he invent the Wrap Sandwich?
“Beats the hell out of me. I doubt it. I know I worked in the kitchen for three years and my manager was on the foot network whenever that was, 1982, 83. When I served this thing that was a club sandwich that was all wrapped up because our toaster was broke and I couldn’t toast the toast the bank president insisted his club sandwich be made on. I said here give him this, we’ll call it a club mex. Then my manager started saying we just wrap sandwich here, we don’t make them.”
“It’s on Wikipedia, so whoever it is that really did, please write in and say you really invented the wrap so I don’t have to do this again. Just change it, it’s your encyclopedia.”
Where does the Bobby V Controversy Come From?
“Like I say, I’m a jerk; I’m just not as big a jerk as people say I am. I don’t know. It’s that thing. It’s a name that little kids remember and I’m a guy who, I am principal. I do believe in right and wrong. Sometimes my right doesn’t quite mesh with somebody else’s I guess.”
On The Boston Coaching Fraternity:
“I don’t have a real close relationship with any of them (Doc Rivers, Claude Julien, Bill Belichick), but I’m look forward to being part of that group. I was told how tightly knit the sports community of Boston is, and how the head coaches and the managers really are that component of bonding. I’m excited about being one of those guys.”
“I’m trying to see a Bruins game. I’m trying to see a Patriots game that isn’t a playoff game so Bill might be able to say ‘hey how you doing?’ I’m trying to get out to practice, I have to get out and see Doc once the season starts. These are all things on the docket, me to feel like thank you guys for reaching out to me. I’m with you and I’m proud to be part of that very esteemed group.”
Tune in to Sports Final and Sports Final OT every Sunday night at 11:35pm on WBZ-TV.