Former Red Sox player and current MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar joined Mut & Merloni to give his take on Boston’s imminent hiring of Bobby Valentine as manager.
While it was reported last week that the managerial search had come down to Valentine and Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, Millar said that Lamont never really had a shot.
“I think the writing was on the wall for the last couple of weeks,” Millar said. “I don’t think Gene Lamont was going to be in consideration at that point, and when I saw those two names, I thought Bobby V. was going to be the guy. It was just a matter of time and what goes on behind the scenes.”
Added Millar: “I think this will be a good situation for the Red Sox.”
It has been speculated that Valentine’s more hard-line approach toward players will be difficult for some of the Red Sox to adjust to after playing for Terry Francona. Millar said that while Valentine’s personality can hurt him, he might have changed since last managing in the MLB in 2002.
He hasn’t managed in, what, the last 10 years in the big leagues? We can all learn from our mistakes,” Millar said. “There is an ego there, that’s a fact. I think that’s Bobby’s downside. I think that’s what makes him not appealing to other clubs. But right now I think the man’s 61 years old, and of age, you get smarter, you learn some stuff, he’s been able to sit here and analyze the game on television. He’s coached in Japan for six years. He brings some of that fire that I think the city likes to see.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
On how Valentine will deal with the players: “He wasn’t liked at times. But as a manager, you don’t have to be liked by everybody. I think you have to create some kind of fear. You have to fear somebody when you play this game.
“The best approach is to treat men like men, these are dads, these are baseball players, these are great athletes. There are some situations that need to be tightened up, whether that’s the conditioning situation, whether that’s the eyes in the clubhouse situation. One thing I don’t want is snitches. What happened with the [John] Lackey and the [Josh] Beckett and the [Jon] Lester, and all this stuff about beer and chicken: snitches. I don’t want anybody snitching.”