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Red Sox had told players that they would not hire someone like Bobby Valentine

11.30.11 at 11:57 am ET
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According to multiple industry sources, after the Red Sox parted ways with Terry Francona after the season, Red Sox officials told at least one player that the team had no plans to hire “someone like Bobby Valentine.” The implication was that the team did not anticipate hiring a manager who ran counter to the mold of a so-called player’s manager such as Francona, who typically tried to keep clubhouse matters in house.

The revelation offers a glimpse into what sources described as a shift that occurred as the Red Sox’ managerial search took place, leading to the announcement of Valentine in the coming days (once a formal agreement is reached, something that, as of this morning, has not yet occurred). Eventually, the Sox came to place greater emphasis on different attributes as the search unfolded, most notably, assigning more weight to the value of experience than had been the case at the start of the process. That, in turn, explained the emergence of Valentine and Gene Lamont as the two finalists for the position.

With Valentine specifically, the team found in its background research not just someone who had been subject to rifts with both players and front office members in New York, but also someone who had stepped in as interim manager at the end of the 1996 season with the Mets and helped the team improve from a 71-91 record in ’96 to an 88-74 mark in 1997.

Now, in the aftermath of a once-promising season that ended with a 7-20 September collapse that cost the Sox the playoffs, the team is hoping that Valentine will again prove the right fit to help restore order to a club.

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