OLD MAN CHASS ON BOBBY VALENTINE

Murray Chass The Jack Ass-curotsy of pitchershiteighith.com

I received a link today of a post that Murray Chass (the big dumb ass) wrote about Bobby Valentine and how he can’t stand BV and BV couldn’t stand him either. Chass it seems felt it was his duty to call Larry Lucchino the Red Sox CEO, to find out how the Sox managerial search was going. I guess after screaming at his grand kids and staring out the window for hours making sure no one parked their car in front of his house, Chass decided he needed to know if Bobby Valentine was THE GUY the Sox were ready to hire as their field boss.

From reading the post it’s clear Chass has an agenda, in fact since Chass was canned by the NY Times he’s had a hard on for lot of people and he’s in denial that he has gone from being the National baseball writer for the Old Grey Lady to a blogger . Chass will never identify himself as a blogger but that’s all in the denial side of his old ass life. Anyway, Chass has gone and dug up gossip and innuendo from Valentine’s days as Mets manager using the one player that Valentine really had no use for, Todd Hundley to make his case but back to Chass calling Lucchino. The Sox CEO told Chass that Valentine had a great interview and then wanted to know what Chass thought of BV, I’ll let Chass tell you in his own words his feelings on Bobby V:

I would rather not have people I am interviewing ask me questions. In this instance what I thought about Valentine or any other candidate shouldn’t matter. I am not the one hiring and paying the new manager.

On the other hand, Lucchino asked a reasonable question, and the primary problem I had with it was whether I should offer some vague, non-committal comment or answer honestly. Of course, I chose honesty because I expect honest answers from the people I question.

“I have found him to be the most disliked man in baseball,” I said. And I added, “He doesn’t like me and I don’t like him.”

I didn’t offer any details, but if Lucchino wants to know why I made those statements, I will enlighten him here, which is a more appropriate place for a reporter or columnist than the telephone.

One thing we know about Valentine is there is no middle ground when it pertains to how people feel about him. I admit to be being a big fan of his but I can see how his personality could grate on one’s nerves if you had to deal with him on an everyday basis but what I take issue with Chass is his view of Valentine is personal not business.  No place in his column does Chass give Valentine credit for being an outstanding bench manager.  You can hate the guys guts but you lose credibility when he don’t acknowledge that Valentine gets more out of what he’s given than anyone in baseball.   

Chass really embarrasses himself when he critiques Valentine’s managerial record by harping on the fact his teams never had a first place finish:

Valentine undoubtedly talks a good game; that’s why ESPN hired him. But ESPN doesn’t have to worry about a won-lost record. While it’s a fact that Valentine managed the Mets to two consecutive wild-card berths in 1999 and 2000 and the World Series in 2000, it’s also a fact that in 14 years with the Rangers and the Mets he never managed a team that finished in first place.

 

Presumably, the Red Sox, who have not participated in post-season games the last two years, have studied Valentine’s history (and not just tested his knowledge of Jamesian sabermetrics) and know that he ranks third in history among managers who have managed the most games without finishing in first place.

 

Valentine took over a Mets team in 1996 that had stopped to listening to Dallas Green whose method of motivation was to scream at his players “to look in the mirror” and man up. Valentine’s main strength was getting the most out of his 25 man roster but he had to deal with a few clubhouse lawyers who became very comfortable living the high life in the Shea Stadium clubhouse one in particular was Todd Hundley. I’ll get to Hundley in a minute, Chass just kind of glosses over the fact the Valentine won a pennant with the Mets and if not for the shit the bed performance by Kenny Rogers would have had back to back pennants under his belt. Someday Chass should let us know what he thinks of Bobby Cox whose teams finished in first place 14 times but has one World Series flag to fly? What about the greatest manager to ever put a pen to a lineup card Tony LaRussa, winning a World Series with a wild card team?  What Chass doesn’t get is all you have to do is get in the tournament, who cares how you got there? I’m sure there isn’t a Cardinals fan out there complaining how their favorite team got to post season as they are reveling in their successful post season tour.

Back to Todd Hundley, it was no secret back then that Valentine wasn’t a fan of Hundley and Hundley felt the same about BV.  Hundley talks about his relationship with Valentine:

 In Hundley’s view, the problem with Valentine began when the manager appeared to be jealous of the player’s standing with the fans. ”He comes into a whole new situation and goes right after I guess the most popular guy,” Hundley said. ”It’s not my fault I’m the most popular guy.”

Hundley was especially upset at the timing of Valentine’s comments on his sleep habits because his mother was being treated for cancer and his wife was pregnant.

”I’m talking to my mom while she’s going through chemotherapy,” Hundley said, ”and I’m helping my wife with taking care of our two kids and he’s saying I’m out and about.”   

 

It’s true that Valentine gave a”wink-wink, nod-nod” statement about Hundley not getting enough sleep which was Valentine speak for Hundley being a hard partying guy. I have no proof that he was or wasn’t but I’m sure it was the manager sending a message to a player and the player reacted negatively. If it’s true that Hundley wasn’t getting sleep due to worrying about his mom and wife then Valentine was dead wrong to bring that up but what we saw with Hundley was he was not a true team player. When Mike Piazza was brought over from the Marlins it was Hundley who was affected the most and it hurt Hundley to no end that Piazza was coming to the Mets and was the new starting catcher. Hundley felt he was the most popular Met (I think Bernard Gilkey, Lance Johnson and of course Edgardo Alfonso were right there as popular Mets) but now with a super star like Piazza on the team he had to take a back seat in fact he had to find a whole new place to play, as Hundley was exiled to left field.  That’s when Hundley ceased being a Met. His play on the outfield was one of indifference; you knew his Mets days were over. Was Valentine the reason? Maybe part of it but the mostly it was the acquisition of Piazza that was Hundley’s problem.

Without a doubt Valentine is a very polarizing person, but he has a track record of turning teams around when he occupies the mangers office. I’m not sure that Valentine is the guy to run the Red Sox bench as I feel their problems run a lot deeper in that clubhouse but you know the Red Sox will be prepared and they will be interesting.  Valentine vs. the Boston Media will a show all by itself.

 

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DO THE MATH, WE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay now that the Mets have absolutely no chance of the post season as they were mathematically eliminated from the 2010 post season, can we put the 2011 plan in motion?

I am sick and tired of all the rumor and innuendo about Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel’s job situation if both of them are getting the boot then boot them out today.  It’s obvious that Manuel is a done and it should be even more obvious that Minaya is as well. There is no reason to keep Jerry Manuel around, let him go home, let Dave Jauss run the team for the next two weeks and start taking interviews for the job of Mets manager in 2011.

Same for Minaya, either fired him or put out a press release that he will be reassigned to VP of Scouting and Player Personnel. It’s the petty himming and hawing bullshit that pisses me off with this organization, time to fucking man up there Jeffey Skill Sets and take charge. Think of this as your second Bar Mitzvah, “today you are a baseball man”

Peter Gammons is still spouting off about Bobby Valentine being the organization choice to manage the Mets. I don’t want to go all in on this Valentine Returns talk because I don’t want to be crushed if it doesn’t happen. Right now guys like Gammons and the other baseball yenta Jon Heyman are giving me a bad case of Blue and Orange balls.

I would be one happy Mets fan if Valentine was brought back not only as manager but in a capacity of a decision maker on player trades and acquisitions. You could name John Ricco the GM and let him be the paper pusher as that seems to be his strength and also the team spokesman with the proviso that he ever utters the term “at the end of day” he has to have his nipples twisted.

If you have a plan Jeffey start putting it in place.  Top candidates are starting to find employment so put down the Nintendo DS and tell your little buddies no more play dates this week you have a lot of work to do young man get to it  and start making moves. As of today it’s 2011 on my Mets calendar.

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METS ARE THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND

Only 23 days until pitchers and catchers

So the Oakland A’s have made a competitive offer to Ben Sheets and want and answer not later than tomorrow. Okay, what is a competitive offer and how many competitors are in this race? From all the innuendo we’ve heard on Sheets, the Mets, A’s and Texas Rangers are in the loop. Rumor is Sheets’ management is looking for an $8 mil base plus incentives for this year and an option for 2011. Now as much as I would love to have Ben Sheets on the Mets, but $8mil for a pitcher who could be a either a stud or a cripple is a tough decision to make. But then again the Mets did give Alex Cora $2mil bucks to be a leader on the bench.

I can not see any way that the A’s would give Sheets $8 mil even the Rangers, as they go through a transition of ownership, would have a hard time paying that kind of coin.

If I’m the Mets I call Sheets’ agent and offer $6mil guarantee with incentives that could go to $10mil if reached (post season starts include in that) and a mutual option for 2011. Then take the other $2 mil and give that to John Smoltz.

If they can do that, not only solidifies the pitching staff but I’ll get off managements back for a while and maybe even praise them for a job well done.

So far the Mets Mini-Camp has proved that OP is great shape and that Johan Santana will again try to help Ollie as much as he can both with his pitching and with his psyche. Jon Niese took the mound for the first time since he ripped his hammy and felt pretty good. Daniel Murphy is a camp and is doing what most fans wish all the players would do, work hard and try to get better but he still catches hell. Wait until he gets traded and becomes a solid ML’er, I will be insufferable or more insufferable than I already am, if that’s possible. 

Kevin Kernan seconds my position that the injury excuse from last year was a smoke screen to how badly last years team executed all facets of the game.   Time for Jerry Manuel to Man Up this spring and prove that he can manage and teach and to prove that he is just not waiting to get canned so he can go back to Sacramento and collect a check sitting on his porch.

I still baffles me how the Skill Sets don’t get upset or try to change the perception of their organization after time and time again being told they run one of the worst organizations in baseball. At some point you need to show some spine and fight back. Everyone from media to fans to bloggers keep kicking the organization in the ass waiting for them to fight back. It’s at the point now where I feel like a bully for calling out the Skill Sets as often as I do, they just take all these kicks in the ass and ask for more. It’s more sad than strange. Com’on Jeffey show some fucking fight will ya!!!!!!

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