Tuesday, November 29, 2011
RED SOX AND BOBBY 'ME': A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.
The union between the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine is like
the wedding that brings two drop-dead gorgeous people together.
They look like the perfect match and everybody says, "Aw, don't
they seem so happy?" But as soon as the honeymoon
is over, it's Armegeddon. The ego, narcissism, and self-absorbtion
takes over and a once seemingly beautiful relationship ends
quicker than you can say Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.
The Red Sox and Valentine will get more than 72-days to co-exist,
but like that joke of a marriage between Kardashian and
Humphries, this "Dream Team" is going to come apart like the
Philadelphia Eagles, quickly. Michael Vick and company entered
the year with a lot of hype and talent, but little chemistry.
Bobby V and the Red Sox are headed down the same road.
And when this turns, it's going to get real ugly, real fast.
Valentine is all about Bobby Valentine, always has been, always
will be. He is a "look at me" type of guy who knows where
every camera is and which microphone to speak into. Yes,
Valentine is media savvy and he pulled a lot of the right strings
in New York. But Boston is an entirely different beast. It is
one team, 24/7, for the entire year. As Terry Francona found out,
the pressure in New England can suffocate you, rip your insides-
out, and break up a marriage. And that can happen even when
you've had unprecedented success like Francona did.
Francona had the perfect temperament for Boston. He was
in control and relaxed. He took bullets for his players even
when it made him look bad to the people on the outside.
Valentine will lay on a sword for no one and he's been known
to warm up the bus and then throw you under it. He takes
over a veteran-laden and talent-rich team that was comfortable
with Francona, (with the exception of Lackey, Lester, and Beckett)
and very loyal to him. Valentine has been known to rub a lot
of people the wrong way. Murray Chass, the legendary baseball
writer,recently described Valentine as the "most disliked man in
baseball." I asked a friend who played for Valentine with the Mets,
to tell me his experience with Bobby V. He just shook his head
without making a comment.
Somewhere along the line, Bobby V got tagged with the "great
baseball man" label, which is akin to Bill Belichick being tattooed
as a "genius" in football. The one BIG difference: Belichick has
won and won often. Bobby V has won nothing, unless you count
winning the Japanese World Series as something. Good grief.
Oh, yeah, he got to the 2000 Fall Classic with the New York
Mets, but nobody every remembers who finished second,
especially when they hammered in five games. Francona
won two World Series titles with Boston, yet nobody ever
put him on a pedestal like a lot of people have with Valentine.
I admire what Valentine has done as an athlete, especially
growing up in Stamford, CT where he was a football player
that was so talented, he got a scholarship to play running
back for USC. He was a phenomenal athlete, who might
still be upset that his FCIAC high school record for hits
in a season was broken by yours truly. But the chemistry
between he and the Red Sox will not work.
The "look at me" type of athletes and coaches don't play
well with the Boston crowd. They were raised on Bird, Orr,
Williams, and Brady and expect their stars to play hard
and be humble. The fans in Boston are among the most
knowledgeable in the country. They see right through frauds.
They will see right through Bobby V. This will not end well.