Bobby Valentine will be named the new Red Sox manager. (AP)
Sixty days after the Red Sox parted ways with Terry Francona, the team has identified his successor. The long wait for a Red Sox manager has reached its conclusion. According to an industry source, confirming multiple media reports, the Sox expect to name Bobby Valentine the 45th manager in team history.
News of a verbal agreement was first reported by Mike Lynch of WCVB (via twitter). Multiple outlets suggest that a final agreement is not yet in place, however.
Colorful and controversial, Valentine has built a reputation as a brilliant dugout tactician who has been a polarizing figure for both players and front offices in the past. Yet there is little question that he represents a different managerial style from Francona, something that the Sox may have ultimately sought in order to provide the different voice that the former Sox manager himself suggested the team needed to engage the clubhouse.
Meanwhile, Valentine suggested that while he has resisted input from front offices in the past, he remains open to the idea of a partnership with the Red Sox’ baseball operations department.
“I would expect it. I would hope for it,” Valentine said of input from a front office. “This is a growth opportunity for me. … I know I’m old. The back of my card gives my date of birth, but I want to understand what’s going in my life, and my life is baseball. I’ve been outside the information age of baseball for the most part.”
Valentine spent eight years as the manager of the Rangers from 1985-92, going 581-605 (.490) and never reaching the playoffs, finishing as high as second place once. He spent one year managing in Japan for the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1994, but was fired after that season.
He then joined the Mets in late-1996 and spent the next six full seasons in New York, going 536-467 (.534). While the Mets never won the NL East, they twice reached the postseason as a wild card, advancing to the NLCS in 1999 and then reaching the World Series in 2000, where they lost to the Yankees.
Valentine was fired by the Mets after the 2002 season. He returned to manage Chiba Lotte, guiding the Marines to both the 2005 Japan Series title and the Asia Series. His second run in Japan lasted six seasons, but Valentine was let go by the Marines after 2009. At that point, Valentine elected to return to the U.S. in hopes of landing one last managerial job in Major League Baseball. (more…)