Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mailbag: Bobby Valentine reaction

Since Bobby Valentine became the leading candidate to become the next Red Sox manager, most everyone I spoke with -- fans, scouts, those who've only seen him on ESPN -- had reasons to dislike him. There was this eye-opening column by Murray Chass, who says "V is for Loser," and others treating the selection with dread.  I found some balance with e-mails, the first from Mets fan Jim Wrynn in New Jersey:

Mr. Gray, upon what do you base your statement that Bobby Valentine is "loathed by Mets fans...?"  Valentine led the team to two post season appearances, reaching the World Series in 2000. He is second in wins to Davey Johnson and third in winning percentage to behind Johnson and Willie Randolph (and why exactly did the Sox not interview Randolph?).  When the Mets were searching for a manager last year, there were many long time fans who wanted Valentine to be interviewed. I think the loathing of Bobby Valentine came not from the fans, but from the media.  Valentine might place a false mustache above his lips, he does not place his lips on the back side of the media.  As to quoting Steve Phillips, I will let Mr. Phillips character speak for itself.

And this email from Jerry Rowan: 

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who attended my first game in 1974. Despite the fact that my family moved to NH in the early 80's, I'm still a Mets fan and manage to make it down to Queens for 6-7 games per year. As such, I feel I'm uniquely qualified to offer a correction on the article you wrote in yesterday's paper (11/27)...Mets fans do NOT "loathe" Bobby Valentine. I would say Bobby is revered by roughly 75% of the Mets fanbase and there was a substantial amount of fans who were clamoring for his return last fall (before we hired Terry Collins). Bobby is a tremendous manager who will out-think, out-work, and out-prepare most of his colleagues. He'll also wear out his welcome (sooner or later) with management and members of  the press because of his frankness and ego (check out Joel Sherman's article in the 11/27 edition of the New York Post). But the ride will be fun, entertaining, and successful. If you guys actually hire Bobby... I might actually watch a Sox game for the first time since 1986. 

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