I don’t know what would get me crazy or fired up about a manager selection. I think Terry Francona really showed that past history isn’t that important. Before coming to Boston, Francona never won more than 77 games. In eight years in Boston, he never won less than 86. Do I think he suddenly learned everything he needed to know between gigs? Nope. I think it’s all about the situation. As long as you get a guy with a good baseball mind, and give him the horses, he should do just fine. For goodness sakes, even Grady Little and Jimy Williams took the Red Sox to the ALCS. You have to think Valentine is a leap and bound over those two. So, I say let’s see what happens.
One thought I found interesting was the idea that this may help the Sox with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Valentine has spent a lot of time in Japan. He understands the players over there, and they seem to respect him If Dice comes back this season, can Valentine get more out of him than others could? Does that make offering Dice a new contract seem reasonable? He’s still young, and if Valentine could get him back to form…could be a nice option as a fifth starter. Does this make the Sox more attractive for potential players coming over from Japan? Is this an attempt by management to hold on to Japanese fans lingering around from Dice-K’s tenure? Who knows?
Frankly, the worst thing I’ve ever heard about hiring Valentine is that he has a big ego. He might clash with Larry Lucchino. Maybe. Although, that happened with the former GM, but not before there was a title or two. Is Valentine going to manage for the next 15 years? No. Even if everything were perfect, I’d only see him as a one-contract type guy. And, that’s fine.
It’ll be a fun contract.