Interesting to watch the reaction to the Bobby Valentine hiring. Some Sox fans seem outraged, others seem curious as to what kind of effect Bobby V will actually have in the clubhouse, others just kinda shrugged their shoulders and said, “Whatever. When does baseball start?”
That last group is the camp I’m in. Look, I didn’t know a goddam thing about Terry Francona when he took over the Sox, other than that he was persona non grata in Philly and seemed to be besties with Curt Schilling. And that turned out pretty good.
Honestly, the last Red Sox manager I was truly excited to see take the reins was, God help me, Butch Hobson. Because I grew up watching Clell play it hard-nosed at third and his ascension to manager was sold to us as the greatest thing since Daisy Dukes. Then, at spring training, he was photographed giving a “stern talking to” to late arrival Roger Clemens while Rocket looked the other way, headphones neatly in place, mind on a million other things besides respecting the new boss. And the magic, as the song goes, ended quickly.
Is Valentine the right man for the job? Is he the guy who can fix a broken clubhouse and command the respect of some apathetic millionaires? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is in a world in which Walpole Joe Morgan can win his first twelve games as Red Sox manager and Grady Little can take a team to game 7 of the ALCS, anything can happen.
Let’s hope it does.