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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bobby Valentine thinks Yankees additions “probably” an upgrade

The Name Of The Game! Yee-hah…Valentine’s day!

Don’t count Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine among those impressed by the Yankees’ late-night moves on Friday.

At a Jimmy Fund charity event on Saturday morning, Valentine didn’t seem too concerned about New York’s additions of starting pitchers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda.

“They’re probably an upgrade from [Bartolo] Colon and [Freddy] Garcia,” Valentine said. “Probably. I don’t know. It seems it.”

He did talk about the potential flaws for each pitcher.

“Pineda, when I saw him the first half, he looked unhittable. Second half, he looked OK,” said Valentine. “[The Mariners] saw a lot of him and they traded him.

“Kuroda is a good pitcher—a year older than he was last year, pitching in the American League and not the National League, pitching in not a great pitcher’s ballpark from a great pitcher’s ballpark.”

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, yankees

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   1. SteveF Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4037116)
While everything he says is true, I'm not sure it makes any sense to say it to a reporter. I guess this is just Bobby Valentine being Bobby Valentine.
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4037120)
Bobby Valentine thinks Angels 1B addition "probably" an upgrade
   3. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4037123)
[The Mariners] saw a lot of him and they traded him.


The Yankees saw a lot of Jesus Montero and they traded him. I guess they must both really suck.

The Tigers saw a lot of John Smoltz and they traded him.

The Padres saw a lot of Roberto Alomar and they traded him.

   4. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4037125)
Kuroda's a year older than he was last year? How the #### did that happen?
   5. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4037126)
Bobby Valentine thinks Red Sox new manager "definitely" an upgrade
   6. Esoteric Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4037134)
#5 wins the thread.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4037135)
Ha I love it
   8. joeysdadjoe Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4037148)
The Mets saw a lot of Bobby Valentine and they fired him.
   9. I Am Not a Number Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4037157)
The sky is probably blue.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4037162)
On the other hand, Pineda could do everything the same as last year, and give up 35 home runs.
   11. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4037165)
Bobby Valentine thinks disguises are "probably" an upgrade.

   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4037168)
The Tigers saw a lot of John Smoltz and they traded him.

Well, not really and they can't have liked what they saw. :-) 96 innings at A-ball (3.56 ERA, 4.4/2.9 K/BB) and 130 innings at AA (5.68 ERA, 6.0/5.6 K/BB).

Talk about fixing something, the next year at AAA for the Braves: 2.79 ERA, 7.6/2.5 K/BB

It's possible the late 80s Braves organization understood a thing or two about pitching.
   13. Adam Starblind Posted: January 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4037238)

Kuroda's a year older than he was last year? How the #### did that happen?


Is this one of those birth certificate things?
   14. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4037259)
There's Kuroda, he's 36. In a year, he's got a chance to be 37.
   15. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4037261)
The Sox are going to regret Bobby V as their manager early and often.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: January 15, 2012 at 02:49 AM (#4037280)
does anyone really take a managers opinion on a divisional rival seriously? They are generally generic quotes, and even this is nothing more than a typical comment that says "yes they might have made some improvements, but there is risk in those improvements" type of crap.

It's the exact same thing I've seen from every manager ever.
   17. Ron J Posted: January 15, 2012 at 05:12 AM (#4037290)
#12 To be fair, Smoltz is one of the names you can fairly bring up in the scouts versus stats. He was listed as the #2 Tiger prospect. (granted, their minor league system was a mess back then. So it was kind of a second tallest midget ranking)

And it was reported that shortly after he was traded to Atlanta the Reds offered Eric Davis for him.

Whether or not that true (or even if it's partly true -- as in it was Smoltz plus they wanted), Smoltz was regarded far more highly by the scouts than the stats guys (such as they were back then) before reaching the Atlanta organization.
   18. Ingve Posted: January 15, 2012 at 06:16 AM (#4037293)
Didn't the Braves have to bring in a "sports shrink" to work with Smoltz fairly early on? Bet the Tigers wish they'd thought of that...
   19. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: January 15, 2012 at 07:14 AM (#4037294)
Didn't the Braves have to bring in a "sports shrink" to work with Smoltz fairly early on? Bet the Tigers wish they'd thought of that...


Smoltz took himself to see one in 1991, after he'd been in the league a few years and then had a bad first half of the season. Smoltz thought the world of the guy he was working with, and when he was pitching liked to have the psychiatrist somewhere in his sightlines, to help him stay calm.
   20. Lassus Posted: January 15, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4037304)
The Sox are going to regret Bobby V as their manager early and often.

I haven't a clue how this conclusion is reached from what he said. He was asked a question (I assume, at least) about his rivals and he was supposed to say what, now? "Hell yeah, that's a total upgrade".

I think poking the Yankees with a passive/aggressive stick was the perfect answer, and what I would want as a fan, honestly.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4037305)
Yeah, exactly. Bobby Valentine is demonstrating one of his strengths - he's going to entertain me. My hope is that Valentine's incorrigible dickery will slowly piss off Joe Girardi, who seems like the kind of guy who would let dumb #### like this get under his skin. (I don't think it will affect any baseball outcomes, mind you, I just want to see Joe Girardi get irritated.)

Obviously it matters more whether Valentine does a good job managing the Sox, but his track record is quite good (per the Jaffe book). And until the season starts, all Valentine can do for the club is to entertain its fans. So, good work Bobby V!
   22. Swedish Chef Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4037308)
I think poking the Yankees with a passive/aggressive stick was the perfect answer, and what I would want as a fan, honestly.

Your standards are too low, a perfect answer would have included a Pineda/pinata pun.
   23. KronicFatigue Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4037310)
The safest answer is "They just got two very good pitchers". The next safest answer is "They got two very good pitchers, but also, let's not forget, Colon and Garcia pitched really well for them last year." There's absolutely zero reward for not playing it safe. The only thing he can accomplish is to stir up attention/drama by being less than safe. Even if it's silly, these types of stories tend to build on themselves. Here we are in January talking about his comments.

He better be careful or he might start developing a reputation.....
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4037311)
The only thing he can accomplish is to stir up attention/drama by being less than safe.
Right. Entertainment. No one's actually articulated a meaningful downside to this.
   25. KronicFatigue Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4037312)
Right. Entertainment. No one's actually articulated a meaningful downside to this.

Job security. A story in January gets combined w/ a few in spring training, and then, during a losing streak, the narrative becomes that Valentine is too volatile for the NY/Bos rivalry.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4037317)
Dumping a manager midseason because of the "narrative that he's too volatile" is really dumb. I don't think the Sox front office are supergeniuses who never screw up, but I'll be happy to bet against them being tremendously dumb.

That's really a double-bankshot theory of how this will hurt the club. You're not willing to say that Valentine will give bulletin board material to the Sox opponents, or that Valentine being a media presence will make a difference to the players. So the story is that a narrative will arise, which will drive the Red Sox front office to make a snap, panic decision, probably costing the team games. And the ball will go off the chair, through the window, over the jumping bull, nothing but net.

EDIT: Looking it over after the above snark, I see that you never actually argued that this would hurt the Red Sox. It seems more likely that you're saying that the only thing at risk is Valentine's job security, and if the narrative-to-firing dominoes fall, the Sox will just get a new manager to replace Valentine and change the narrative. If there's no claim that this will hurt the Sox, I don't really care one way or another - no downside for me. So I'm going to keep enjoying the entertainment. But now my snark misses the point for the most part. Sorry.
   27. Dale Sams Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4037319)
My prob with the whole 'They won 90 games last season' meme is:

Sox went 12-6 against the Yanks, 5-1 against the Tigers, 6-2 against the Angels. There's gonna be some serious degradation there, and not a whole lot to make it up with the possibility of the Rays. (6-12)
   28. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4037320)
My prob with the whole 'They won 90 games last season' meme is:
That it's not as funny as LOLcats?
   29. Lassus Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4037325)
That it's not as funny as LOLcats?

SABR lolcats are hilarious.
   30. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4037330)
No one's actually articulated a meaningful downside to this.


Or upside, for that matter, since getting under Joe G's skin without it affecting any baseball outcomes is the definition of limited upside.

I don't find incorrigible dickery entertaining, particularly when it's not coupled with genuine humor (I'll give Ozzie, for instance, more of a pass because he'll occasionally say something that's really amusing. Bobby V don't do funny).

If Bobby Valentine wins a whole bunch of games, I'll accept the tradeoff. What I fear is that Bobby V continues his Look at Me act while also keeping up his pursuit of the big league record for most seasons managing without ever finishing first. And that #### will get old real quick.



   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4037335)
Well, if the debate is about whether or not Bobby V entertains us, fine, it's subjective, we feel differently. Insofar as the argument is about whether Bobby V is demonstrating that the Sox will regret hiring him or that he's risking his job security, we appear to be on the same page.
What I fear is that Bobby V continues his Look at Me act while also keeping up his pursuit of the big league record for most seasons managing without ever finishing first.
Whoever the Sox manager is, they won't project to beat the Yankees next year. The Yankee team projects as a juggernaut right now. (Obviously there's risk there with age in the lineup and uncertainty in the rotation, but all clubs have risk and the Yankees look a couple games better than every other club in baseball.)

Plus, Valentine's players have outplayed expectations by a very nice margin over his career, I'll take that record going forward regardless of what place in the division his clubs have finished.
   32. Guapo Posted: January 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4037336)
IMHO the real question is how this sort of schtick plays in the Red Sox clubhouse. I wonder how, say, Pedroia feels about something like this.
   33. Lassus Posted: January 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4037338)
IMHO the real question is how this sort of schtick plays in the Red Sox clubhouse. I wonder how, say, Pedroia feels about something like this.

Valentine's comment is such a nothing comment to anyone but the press/fans trying to drum up controversy and Valentine trying to be clever/biting that - in my opinion - I would think the Red Sox players couldn't care less. I could be wrong, certainly, but I have a hard time thinking that any of the players would be able to find a reason to care one way or the other.
   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4037345)
Plus, Valentine's players have outplayed expectations by a very nice margin over his career, I'll take that record going forward regardless of what place in the division his clubs have finished.


Yes, that fact certainly tempered my dislike with the hire, but not entirely. When you hit 15 seasons without a division title, that's getting up there. And it's not like he was stuck on teams without resources.

   35. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4037351)
Job security. A story in January gets combined w/ a few in spring training, and then, during a losing streak, the narrative becomes that Valentine is too volatile for the NY/Bos rivalry.


I'm sure the Sox are shocked, shocked!, to find that Bobby V has a big mouth.

For some reason they felt they needed a Bobby V in part because of his big personality, so it's hard to imagine he's going to get a quick hook for demonstrating it.
   36. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: January 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4037358)
Are Valentine's comments really that incendiary here. Opposing team acquires players, manager says it's probably an upgrade. Really? This is what passes for a "diss" in 2012? Conversely if he had said "wow, that's some great work by the Yanks" we'd be reading that "Valentine is intimidated by the AL East."

Sox went 12-6 against the Yanks, 5-1 against the Tigers, 6-2 against the Angels. There's gonna be some serious degradation there, and not a whole lot to make it up with the possibility of the Rays. (6-12)


Agreed, if they decline against some teams while not improving against any other teams they will be worse.

Nitpicking the specifics of the 90 wins is over "analysis." They won 90 games last year, they seem to have actually been about a 93-94 win team and the changes they have made probably drops them a bit. I think it's fair to say they'll decline a bit against the good teams but they probably will improve a bit against other teams.
   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4037360)
“They’re probably an upgrade from [Bartolo] Colon and [Freddy] Garcia,” Valentine said. “Probably. I don’t know. It seems it.”


Well, coming off last year's performance, ISTM that any rational person would have added that "probably". Valentine was comparing what the Yanks might expect from Pineda and Korada in 2012, in contrast to what Garcia and Colon did in 2011. But lest we forget, those two pitchers just gave the Yanks 311 innings with a combined ERA+ of about 116. That's not the world's lowest bar for two newcomers to jump over.
   38. dave h Posted: January 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4037363)
I wonder how, say, Pedroia feels about something like this.


You could make an argument that it would negatively affect the clubhouse, but Pedroia is your example of this? The guy who turned around to yell at the home plate umpire while running to first after hitting a single? Are we talking about the same Pedroia? Laser show guy?
   39. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 15, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4037413)
"Probably an upgrade" is innocuous enough. Specific criticisms of Pineda and Kuroda is probably not a very good idea. This might not be top shelf bulletin board stuff, but it isn't a manager's job to motivate the opposition.

The Yankee team projects as a juggernaut right now.


I wouldn't go that far just yet.
   40. Darren Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4037425)
What I fear is that Bobby V continues his Look at Me act while also keeping up his pursuit of the big league record for most seasons managing without ever finishing first. And that #### will get old real quick.


Why are people willing to judge managers--far more than individual players--by how their team finishes in the standings? The top players are paid 5-10 times more than the top managers and sign contracts twice as long. If you're not going to judge ARod's value by the fact that his Texas teams didn't win, why in the world would you be willing to judge a manager for this?
   41. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4037439)
Why are people willing to judge managers--far more than individual players--by how their team finishes in the standings? The top players are paid 5-10 times more than the top managers and sign contracts twice as long. If you're not going to judge ARod's value by the fact that his Texas teams didn't win, why in the world would you be willing to judge a manager for this?


It beats the hell out of judging him by how much he likes to avoid the damn hit and run or whether he brought the wrong reliever into that mid-May game in the bottom of the seventh, which seems to be the prevailing method for judgment among many posters. But really, it's just part of the puzzle.

Bobby V has managed for 15 seasons in the big leagues. His teams have zero first place finishes, two wild card berths and one back-door pennant. Perhaps those finishes are the absolute zenith anyone could have done with the talent on hand. Possible, but after a certain amount of time (like 15 ####### seasons), my skepticism starts to kick in that maybe the skipper isn't as wonderful as he thinks he is.

The fact that Dag's work shows that his teams exceeded expecations is encouraging, and as I said, tempers some of my misgivings with the hire (though Chris's work also shows that he's at an age where skippers generally begin to lose their stuff). Additionally, it has limitations, particularly for a guy who spent many years with the same franchise (as Bobby V. did in both stops). After a certain amount of time, previous managerial performance has a direct impact on future expectations.

   42. Darren Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4037442)
Substitute "Relief pitcher" everywhere you said "manager" in your post and you'll see my point. You're holding Valentine to an unfair standard.

Also, I don't think it's fair to judge him without including his success in another major league.
   43.  Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4037448)
SoSH, why is there always an extra line break at the end of your posts?
   44. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4037450)
Substitute "Relief pitcher" everywhere you said "manager" in your post and you'll see my point. You're holding Valentine to an unfair standard.


No, I'm holding him to the same standard we have historically held all managers, because it's been the only standard we've ever really had. How did his team's perform? Dag's work opens up some new ways to look at skippers, and certainly paints the V man in a better light than his adequate but not overwhelming W-L and divisional finishes do. But that doesn't mean we simply throw out the actual performance of the teams he is charged with managing. Or, at least, I don't. Bobby V's teams, over full-season performances, never won squat. Maybe that's just a fluke, but after a certain amount of time that's no longer going to be my default position.

As for relievers, the game of baseball has provided us a great many individual metrics that tell us how a ballplayer has performed his charged duty, so we use those to judge his effectiveness.

As for his record in another country's league, that's a nice feather in his cap and certainly adds to his overall baseball legacy, but I'm not sure we have enough MLEs from Japan on the managerial side to suggest that successful skippering there will necessarily translate to success here (baseball managing being, above all, about managing people, and the cultural differences within the two leagues could very well mean that what works here won't work there, and vice versa.) Trey Hillman, for instance, didn't exactly win many huzzahs for his work in KC.

SoSH, why is there always an extra line break at the end of your posts?


I can't say I've ever noticed that there was one. And now, with the eternal edit feature in place, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to notice.

Perhaps I just throw an extra carriage return at the end.

Edit: Looking up, I do see it (even with the edit button). It looks like the byproduct of superfluous enter strikes.

   45. Srul Itza At Home Posted: January 15, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4037458)
The only thing he can accomplish is to stir up attention/drama by being less than safe. Even if it's silly, these types of stories tend to build on themselves. Here we are in January talking about his comments.


In New York, where you are competing for the back page of the Post, this is what you are supposed to do. So he is just carrying over what he learned from the Mets.

In Boston, it probably does not play as well, because everyone there has a stick up their. . .
   46. Downtown Bookie Posted: January 15, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4037566)
I think poking the Yankees with a passive/aggressive stick was the perfect answer, and what I would want as a fan, honestly.


Count me in favor of poking the Yankees with a stick, whatever the kind. Mind you, I'd much prefer poking the Yankees with an electronic cattle prod, but I see this as a decent start.

DB
   47. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 15, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4037593)
If this was the manager of the Diamondbacks talking about Rockies signings, it wouldn't even be a story. Hopefully this can be chalked up to January nothingness, or we're in for a whole lot of deconstructive surgery.
   48. dave h Posted: January 15, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4037645)
No, I'm holding him to the same standard we have historically held all managers, because it's been the only standard we've ever really had.


I'm with Darren on this one. Just because we don't have any good metrics, doesn't mean we should put any significant value in number of pennants (and by the way, isn't he pretty much right on the average for number of pennants expected in 15 years?)
   49. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 15, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4037671)
I'm with Darren on this one. Just because we don't have any good metrics, doesn't mean we should put any significant value in number of pennants (and by the way, isn't he pretty much right on the average for number of pennants expected in 15 years?)


So what do we put value on?

I'd guess most managers who get 15 years on the job actually average more than 1 pennant (even adjusting for league size). And his number of first-place finishes (the non crapshooty portion of the season) is below average for any length of time.

I've never claimed Bobby V has been a horrible manager. He obviously hasn't been. I just found the selection of an old guy with a less-than-amazing track record to be uninspired. I hope I'm wrong.

   50. dave h Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4037680)
If the only statistic we had to measure the performance of a relief pitcher was his team's W/L during his career, would you then think it was important? Some things just aren't measurable statistically.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4037683)
If the only statistic we had to measure the performance of a relief pitcher was his team's W/L during his career, would you then think it was important? Some things just aren't measurable statistically.


Then my belief that Bobby V is an uninspired choice to lead the Red Sox can not be disputed.

   52. ray james Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4037689)
Perhaps I just throw an extra carriage return at the end.


You're using a typewriter to post? How does that work?
   53. Bob Evans Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4037729)
But lest we forget, those two pitchers just gave the Yanks 311 innings with a combined ERA+ of about 116.

Wrong bar...unless you think Colon/Garcia are a good bet to do 311/116 again in 2012.

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