In this week’s Q&A, Steve Serby hurls some questions to Bobby Valentine — the former Rangers, Mets and Red Sox manager who joins SNY’s on-air team as an analyst for its pre- and postgame coverage starting Opening Day. Valentine will be paired with lead studio analyst Bob Ojeda and host Chris Carlin. [...]
Q: What’s your relationship with the Wilpons?
A: Fred and his wife have always just been class acts to me, very nice, wonderful people. Jeff lives next door [in Greenwich, Conn.]. His kid has trained in my Academy, so I’ve seen him a lot. I haven’t seen Fred in years, a couple, three years. [...]
Q: How would you characterize the difference between the Boston media and the New York media?
A: All the Boston ever wanted to do is prove that they were a tougher media than New York. And I don’t paint everyone with the same brush, I think some of those guys are absolutely terrific people. And a good group of ’em are absolute horses asses who are unprofessional, lazy and should not be in the business up here, in my opinion. I had one guy never talk to me the whole year because he said to me he didn’t like the answer I gave him in spring training. He covered my team the whole year! I think the New York media knows more about baseball and is more professional. [...]
Q: Tell me about the night Keith Hernandez frequented your restaurant and you wound up in jail.
A: I was coaching for the Mets, and Keith was good enough, I was just getting started [in the restaurant business]. It was an off night, he came down. (Chuckle). I told him, obviously I said, “Hey, got a lot of girls hanging around, you want to come down?” And Keith showed up. So I was working my butt off, cleaning bathrooms, flipping hamburgers and pouring drinks. It was jammed, you know. I didn’t get much time to spend with him, but he was doing his thing with the customers, which was perfect for me. When I closed the [previous] place, girls worked out of here. Those girls. When I took over, I threw ’em out. But a lot of their business was from truck drivers who drove the corridor, 95, Maine to Florida. There was no email then, you couldn’t tweet that you were moving (laugh). So they stood outside the building, spring, winter, summer and fall, for the first year that I opened. I had this running battle with the pimps and the girls. For years. And they’d walk away, and then they’d come back. And they’d walk around the corner, and then they’d come back. And apparently Keith was leaving at about 1 o’clock, and he came back and he said, “By the way, Bobby, you told me there were a lot of good-looking girls down here — you’re right. Especially the one that hangs out at the parking meter out front.” And she didn’t have any teeth. She wasn’t a good-looking girl, you know (laugh)?
Q: Was he being sarcastic?
A: Oh, ***** totally **** sarcastic. He was just rubbing my nose in it, that here my place has hookers hanging out at the parking meter out in front of the building. I was cleaning up, and about 1:30 in the morning, his words were echoing in my ears. And I went out, and the girls were there, and I started yelling about them moving, and the police came, and saw me yelling, and told me I was making too much noise, told me to get in the backseat of the car, cool down. I wouldn’t cool down. ... We rode around the block. I didn’t cool down. They said, “Bobby, if you don’t relax, we’re gonna have to take you in.” I said, “You’re supposed to be taking the people I was yelling at, you’re supposed to take ***** them ***** in!” They said, “No, we’re gonna have to take you in.” And sure enough, I can tell you that there’s no more final a sound than when they close the door on a prison [cell]. Boom! Like this is over. The game is up (laugh). And I got thrown in jail.