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Friday, May 07, 2021

Ex-MLB manager Bobby Valentine enters mayoral race in Stamford, Connecticut

Former Major League Baseball player and manager Bobby Valentine is taking a swing at politics, announcing Friday that he’s running for mayor of his Connecticut hometown.

Valentine, 70, who currently serves as the athletic director at Sacred Heart University, posted a video on social media and said he’ll run as an independent candidate in Stamford.

“The greatest commodity I have is my time, and I want to give my time and my energy and my wherewithal back to the city that has given me so much over my lifetime,” he said.

Valentine, a Stamford native, was a three-sport high school star in the city.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 05:59 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bobby valentine

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: May 07, 2021 at 10:25 PM (#6017696)
Valentine added that he is well suited to be mayor seeing as he invented the Consitution.
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 08, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6017776)
It's funny that when famous people say they want to "give back to the community", they always enter politics; they never, say, work at soup kitchens or mop floors and such.
   3. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 08, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6017783)
What are people's overall judgement of Bobby Valentine? I think it probably depends a lot on your age:

He was a young hotshot who didn't pan out in Los Angeles in the late 60s and early 70s...

...who became a manager at age 36 in 1986, and (as I recall) had a reputation as a bit of a "boy wonder" as a manager - young, articulate, handsome, a "players manager", etc. He took a Rangers franchise that hadn't really been any good most of their history, took a very young roster, and won 87 games, etc., etc. But it didn't really work out, until...

...he got to the Mets, they get a WS, but he gets kind of weird (the whole Groucho glasses thing being the cherry on that sundae), and it is assumed that he's done managing, until...

...he gets hired sort of out of nowhere by the Red Sox, in what was probably the worst season I've had as a Red Sox fan in my life. He was a joke from the first week he was hired, the team sucked, and he was Dead Man Walking most of the season, honestly. No, of course...

...he runs for mayor of his hometown as an independent. Who knows how that will go.

Because I am a 47-year-old Red Sox fan whose peak childhood obsession with the sport was probably 1982-1987, almost anybody whose career passed through that window is locked into my memory that way. Thus, when I think of him, i think of the 1986 Rangers. They had the following guys play that season who were 27 or younger:

Ruben Sierra (20), Ed Correa (20), Jerry Browne (20), Kevin Brown (21), Mitch Williams (21), Bobby Witt (22), Pete Incaviglia (22), Jose Guzman (23), Mike Stanley (23), Oddibe McDowell (23), Jeff Russell (24), Steve Buechele (24), Orlando Mercado (24), Geno Petralli (26), Don Slaught (27), Scott Fletcher (27). That's a lot of young guys who we would consider legit prospects or young talents, and at that moment, it seemed like probably the best collection of potential stars of any team. They had veterans who could hit (Darrell Porter, Larry Parrish, Gard Ward, Pete O'Brien), and they had some attitude and confidence...that's what I thought of when I thought of Bobby Valentine...

...until he managed the Red Sox. It was such a joke. I have never seen a manager that a team, a fan base, a media corps, ever universally took less seriously than Bobby Valentine that year. I don't know if people outside of Red Sox Nation followed this trainwreck of an experience the way we did, but that ends up being his legacy to me. I wish him well in his election.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: May 08, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6017788)
impossible to overstate how beloved Valentine is in that town - he has a very popular restaurant/sports bar in the area and as noted is AD at a (lowly) D-I program. not sure if it translates into enough votes, though.

he was the last person to testify two years ago at about a 10-hour hearing in Connecticut on sports betting - and yes, he will lose the bulk of the BBTF constituency when I tell you he is very much in favor.

he made the "it's happening anyway, why not regulate and tax it" argument, but he also had an "angle" - Bobby V wants sports betting kiosks at his sports bar.

as for Valentine, I would sum it up as "he often is the smartest person in the room - but he ALWAYS believes he is the smartest person in the room."

overall, he was a good manager imo
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: May 08, 2021 at 02:22 PM (#6017790)
impossible to overstate how beloved Valentine is in that town

His former employee, the late Jeff K, would beg to differ.

I hated when the Sox hired him, though he was obviously much worse than I ever imagined. In general, I think I underrate him overall, though I do like to note there are only two skippers in history who managed more seasons than Bobby V without ever finishing first.
   6. Jay Seaver Posted: May 08, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6017794)
What are people's overall judgement of Bobby Valentine? I think it probably depends a lot on your age:

That list skips his time in Japan, which was kind of a big deal - he was successful enough to be enormously popular there and seemed to do a good job of finding a middle ground between the North American and Japanese ways of approaching the game. I've done a pretty good job of memory-holing his time in Boston, so that's kind of what I tend to remember him for.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 08, 2021 at 04:19 PM (#6017817)

as for Valentine, I would sum it up as "he often is the smartest person in the room - but he ALWAYS believes he is the smartest person in the room."

Thanks Howie, this is a good description. He always thought he was the smartest guy in the room and he never made any attempt to hide that self-conception.

That being said, I thought he was a pretty good manager during his time with the Mets. He seemed like the kind of guy who was good at coming and turning things around, but eventually his shtick wears on people, especially when the team is underperforming.
   8. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 08, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6017831)
That list skips his time in Japan, which was kind of a big deal

He had personality conflicts with the higher-ups at Chiba, but they were never more successful than in his five or six years there, including a Japan Series title and an Asian Series over the Korean champion.

Though I have to say that Valentine's best idea came right after that Japan Series: he issued a challenge to the White Sox to play a genuine world championship series between Chiba and Chicago. I remember at the time thinking it was a great idea, and sixteen years later I'm still disappointed that nobody ever made it happen. I mean, obviously the US teams would win it most of the time, but given the nature of baseball it would certainly go the other way on occasion. And it would be a lot of fun.
   9. Sweatpants Posted: May 08, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6017832)
I always felt like Valentine got his genius reputation more from how he acted than from anything intelligent that he actually did. Like everyone says, he presented himself as the smartest guy in the room, so people believed it. That might have been his best asset, his ability to convince players and reporters alike that the club had a brilliant manager in charge. I don't know if I can think of any single brilliant move that he made, though.

I've related this story on this site before, but it kind of summed Valentine up to me perfectly. Late in the 1999 season, with the Mets and Braves fighting for the NL East crown, the Braves won a close game that saw Terry Mulholland strike out Bobby Bonilla with the bases loaded in a key moment. Valentine explained to the reporters after the game that getting Bonilla up against Mulholland was an ingenious stratagem on his part, one that he had gone into the series hoping to execute, as Bonilla's career numbers against Mulholland were terrific, but sometimes you can set everything up perfectly and you just don't catch the breaks. Lost somewhere in that explanation was that Bonilla hit .160 in 1999 and was a far cry from the player who had compiled those numbers against Mulholland throughout the first half of the '90s. Was Valentine really that incapable of introspection, or was he simply trying to save face and preserve his image as the world's smartest manager?

Anyway, with the Red Sox he totally failed to convince anyone that he was a brilliant manager, and without that ability he simply couldn't control the team. He still went out of his way to alienate and demean everyone around him, but, because no one was predisposed to see him as a genius in 2012, it just made him look like a jerk rather than a talented guy whose failures were the fault of everybody else.

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