Bobby Valentine has been called many things throughout his baseball career. On Thursday, they officially called him manager of the Red Sox. As for the other descriptions, some of them suggesting an ego large enough to devour Fenway Park, Valentine pleaded for calm.
“It’s about reputation versus character,” Valentine said after reaching a two-year deal to become the 45th manager in team history, with team options for 2014 and 2015. “I have some qualities in my character that are OK. I’m not the genius that I’ve heard people refer to me as. I’m not the polarizing guy that people refer to me as. I’m not the monster that breathes fire. I’m a regular human being with regular feelings and attributes that make me what I am.”
What the Red Sox hope is that Valentine, 61, who managed the Rangers and Mets — reaching the NLCS in 1999 and World Series in 2000 -— is the catalyst to changing the clubhouse dynamic that doomed Terry Francona in the final month of his eight-year stint as manager.
Valentine’s reputation is for straight-shooting and feather-ruffling, something the team lacked as it collapsed last September amid stories of clubhouse chaos.
Bobby V talks 2011 collapse
Valentine mostly passed on talking about last September’s collapse.
“Something happened in September that I wasn’t involved in,” he said. “Right now, maybe this group of guys has a reputation that’s not warranted. Because everything I’ve heard about the players that wore the uniform last year … says nothing but they had great character.