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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

As Red Sox careen toward finish, it’s all about Bobby V

Good, then he’ll be happy.

Every decision [Bobby] Valentine makes, every utterance, every laugh (Was it a chuckle or a cackle? Cutting or well-meaning?) is subject to interpretation. It’s an ongoing soap opera, and for players it is an immensely challenging phenomenon. 

Al Leiter, now an analyst for the YES Network, lived through it when he pitched under Valentine with the Mets from 1998-2002…

“Anytime that a player has to answer to things that don’t relate to that player’s job and the tasks that he’s trying to perform on the field and there’s the exterior stuff, it doesn’t enable a guy to focus the way he should to be the best you can be. It’s not a good thing,” Leiter said last week. “[Players try to] ignore it. 

“But then you have a cold, bitter clubhouse, because [members of the media] are trying to find answers, and [players] are trying to hide, because they know what the eventual questions are going to be. After you ask about that night’s game, the hanging slider for a double down the line, then it’s, ‘What do you think?’ Even if their answers are no comment, or whatever it is to not get in trouble, it’s still there. They know they can’t [comment honestly] because it’s a hot-button topic.”

... “Not just for him, but for people who are creative, who aren’t guarded, who aren’t careful with being themselves—[the impact of social media] applies to anybody in a position that potentially has a microphone put in front of their face. Bobby’s one of them,” Leiter said. “And then it becomes, ‘Wow, that was a little odd.’

“Cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, that have a number of media outlets, it probably would be better to have someone who a) knows what they’re doing as a manager but b) is less inclined to put their foot in their mouth…

“You win, there’s less B.S. If you’re winning, the numbers are right for most of the guys in the clubhouse, so guys are happy,” Leiter said. 

But when the Mets ran off the rails in a 75-86 season in 2002, the balancing act no longer worked. Players could no longer brush off the controversies surrounding Valentine. 

“You’re losing, so it’s already depressing. You know it’s all negative talk, so you’ve got to turn the radio off. You can’t listen to the radio, you can’t read the paper, because you know it can’t be any good. You’re 16 1/2 games back,” said Leiter. “This is a team that underperformed. I’m pissed off. 

“Getting to that place, getting to that space, getting that clear mind—it’s not easy.”

The District Attorney Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:06 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: al leiter, bobby valentine, crazy clown town, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4239027)
"Hey, it's Bodysuit Man!"
   2. base ball chick Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4239095)
maybe they could hire larry bowa - outbid the astros

now THAT would be fun
   3. Dale Sams Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4239110)
"Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Bobby the King, Ciriaco and Kalish,
Lin and Carpenter, Stewart and Valencia- "
   4. KJOK Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4239322)
...it probably would be better to have someone who a) knows what they’re doing as a manager but b) is less inclined to put their foot in their mouth…


Truth!
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4239421)
Successful managers available in 2013: Tony LaRussa, Tommy LaSorda, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre & Lou Piniella. Plus a bunch of younger & cheaper guys. Could trade for Ozzie Guillen, too.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4239424)
When Terry Francona was hired the local sports radio station did a pretty funny bit that was "secret taped footage of the Terry Francona interview." Basically it was "Francona" answering every question by just saying "Timlin in the 8th, Williamson in the 9th."

I think this year's winning interview will be similar with the hired candidate just repeating over and over again "I'm not Bobby Valentine."
   7. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 18, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4239466)
Geez, I can't see what all the fuss is about. IMO Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox are a match made in Heaven.

BTW where are all those Red Sox Primates who were calling for Francona's hide around this time last year?
   8. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 18, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4239500)
RE: Francona...I don't know, I wasn't one of them, and RE: Valentine...you SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
   9. Dan Posted: September 18, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4239506)
Firing Francona was the right move. Following it up with a shitty hiring doesn't change that.
   10. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4240403)
What is the "crazy clown town" tag in reference to? I see it was first used on July 15th, but I don't see it in the linked Edes article.
   11. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4240412)
I think it is in reference to Bryce Harper's comment about a "clown question" or something like that (I don't remember exactly what he said).
   12. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4240493)
What is the "crazy clown town" tag in reference to? I see it was first used on July 15th, but I don't see it in the linked Edes article.


The original post that I can find was by Matt Clement of Alexandria on July 6 in this thread. "The idea that this team "doesn't have a shot" is full-on crazy clown town. They're around 30-40% to make the playoffs."

If it's not in reference to Harper (and I'm not sure it is, because it lacks the necessary 'bro' at the end), the only other thing I can find that it might be referring to is the David Lynch song/album Crazy Clown Time, which features references to beer, wild partying, and a guy named Bobby.

Bobby screams so loud and spit
Bobby screams so loud and spit
No one around
They all run around
They all run around
Oh, it's crazy clown town!
It was really fun!
It was real fun, oh!

If it's not a reference to that, it's a good coincidence.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 19, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4240540)
I took the phrase from David Lynch cause I thought it was funny and evocative. Then other folks picked up on the term and applied it to Boston and the Red Sox (Old Town Team, Boston as a city full of townies, etc) and the disasterpiece theater of 2012. It works pretty well.
   14. bobm Posted: September 19, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4240559)
Bobby V and Mitt R are now neck-and-neck in the race for least media-savvy manager lately of Massachusetts.
   15. DA Baracus Posted: September 19, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4240610)
Bobby V and Mitt R are now neck-and-neck in the race for least media-savvy manager lately of Massachusetts.


Was Rick Pitino too long ago to count?
   16. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4240692)
Valentine said mean things about the Yankees, what else do they want?
   17. nick swisher hygiene Posted: September 19, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4240706)
why not "Crazy Clowne Towne"? the "Clowne Towne Team"?
   18. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4240987)
Thanks, MCoA. I've been pretty much out of the loop this year.
   19. Ron J2 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4241094)
Firing Francona was the right move. Following it up with a shitty hiring doesn't change that.


Disagree completely. Firing the manager is a mistake without a succession plan. I think you have to look at old manager and new manager together.

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