If you havent listened to Bobby Valentines interview from this afternoons Big Show, please do so right now. Come back when youre done. I promise to wait.
Now, a few highlights:
First of all, and be honest: Who amongst us hasnt at some point wanted to punch Glenn Ordway in the mouth? Speak now or never again criticize Valentines completely natural and understandable threat.
Second, putting aside the hysterics for a second, I think Valentine made a ton of sense in this interview.
His explanation for extending Alfredo Aceves workload (an act that was characterized as a vengeful attack on the pitchers well-being) was entirely sound.
He wasnt my closer at the time," Valentine said. Since Andrew Bailey has been back, weve been trying to stretch Alfredo out to see if we can lengthen, and general manager Ben Cherington and I talked about the possible chance of lengthening him out, to get more pitches thrown so that possibly if we needed a starter, he could jump into that rotation given our starting group is running a little thin. Is that a good reason for pitching him what would be 100 pitches in a game, I actually did it over that weeks span?
I agree with his stance that the beat guys who saw him get to the ballpark late in Oakland should have asked what the deal was especially if they planned on reporting it.
When I walked into the clubhouse with my son, the press was already in the clubhouse. You would think that one of these incompetent people would say, or ask a question, Hey, why is it 4 oclock . . . and, you know, 4 oclock, like thats so late for a 7:15 game. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon gets there every day at 4 oclock, just for the record when I walked in and someone is going to write that, wouldnt you think that theyd say, Hey why is it that you just got to the ballpark? Youre usually here at 2. Why are you here today at 4? And I could have introduced them to my son, and explained to them about the flight that was delayed because of the fog, and that I was waiting at the San Francisco Airport and that his phone had died and I had no way of letting him know I wasnt going to be there.
OK, maybe its a little ridiculous that the son Valentine was waiting for at the airport is 29 years old; the kidman obviously could have made it to the stadium by himself. But at the same time, I get it. He wanted to be there for his son. And if what he said about Joe Maddon is true, then Valentine wasnt even late. (Although that doesn't change the fact that he has an unhealthy obsession with Maddon.)
He also shed light on some of the reasons he believes things went so wrong from the start this season. He makes it clear that he didn't really know what he was getting himself into, and that a lack communication within the organization made it far more difficult to grasp the situation. Which makes sense, because that exactly how it looked for those first few months.
When youre planning the game plan," he said, "you have to get the scouts' information and the players' information, medical information, coaches' information, and then get a game plan together. Unfortunately, when you do it on the fly, its hard to decipher where the good information comes from.
For almost 25 minutes, Valentine was completely honest with Holley and the Big O. Of course, he was also insanely defensive, combative and, at times, borderline loopy.
And you know what? I don't blame him.
Say what you will about Bobby V. The guy's certainly made his mistakes, and most likely deserves to be fired. But I don't know how anyone can stay sane working in that environment.
Can you imagine what it feels like to have a conversation with your GM, in which you decide to begin the process of converting a reliever into a starter and then everyone accuses you of trying to end the guy's career? Honestly, how psychotic is that?
Or to show up three hours before a game, and have everyone write about how you were late?
Can you imagine what it's like working under Larry Lucchino? Hell, Lucchino drove Theo Epstein so crazy that he ended up running away from Fenway Park in a gorilla suit.
Forget Bobby V., I don't see how anyone can do it. Or would want to. Not until a lot more than Josh Beckett's name plate is removed from Fenway Park.