Here’s Bobby: Bobby Valentine Talks Back
Well certainly at your introductory press conference, it was something that people were asking about, right?
I guess. I don’t know. You know, again, everything that’s happening seems to be moving forward, and that’s where I like to be moving. And one thing you can’t do anything about is what happened in the past. Being as good as you can be in the present is what I think we all have to focus on.
How will your dynamic with Ben Cherington work in season, like if there’s a decision —
No idea? Too soon?
I mean, I have an idea. We’ve worked together thus far [on] all decisions that have been made, and I think we’ll continue to work together. Why wouldn’t we? I don’t think he’s going to want to come down and talk about, in the seventh inning, a pitching change, and I don’t know that I’m going to necessarily want to know every thought he has. But I think we’ll be working together.
So if there’s a decision, like where someone’s batting in the lineup —
Where someone’s batting in the lineup?
Yeah. Is that something you would talk with him about?
I would think so. I mean, not on a daily basis.
So who has the final say on that, if there’s a dispute?
Batting in the lineup?
I don’t think there’d be a dispute, but I would think I would get the final say. I bring the lineup out to the umpire.
Do you think you’ll be consulted on trades, that sort of thing?
Well, I have been so far.
Shifting a little, growing up in Stamford, Connecticut, were you a Yankees fan?
Is there like a ritual cleansing bath you have to go through for that?
What made you want to stay in baseball after you were done as a player?
I love the game so much. I was doing other things, trying to make a living. I opened a restaurant. I led a lot of business ventures, but I always tried to stay in the game. So I was a roving instructor for the Padres, I was a roving instructor for the Mets, and I was a big-league coach for the Mets, and a few years before that I was a big-league manager for the Rangers.
You suffered a bad injury that really affected your career. After you got hurt, and spent more time as a utility player on the bench, did you start watching the game more like a manager would?
Yeah, that’s basically how it was. I always, even as a player, tried to watch it as a manager would. But when I wasn’t starting, I watched it more closely. And players would come to me for advice and tips, and I liked it. I was playing in one of those years — I guess 1976 — I was in the minor leagues in Hawaii, AAA, when the manager left because his wife was sick. He turned the team over to me to manage, so I got a little taste of playing and managing for a couple months. We actually won a championship, and I thought that was probably the route that I’d take.