ESPN is reporting that the Boston Red Sox have hired Bobby Valentine to be their new manager.
Valentine beat out Detroit Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont for the position. He succeeds Terry Francona who was dismissed after eight seasons at the helm of the Bosox because of their September collapse.
The best thing I can say about this hire is that Valentine won’t be in the broadcast booth for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
Don’t get me wrong. Valentine has a track record as a manager in both MLB and in Japan. He managed the Texas Rangers from 1985 to 1992 and the New York Mets from 1996 to 2002. While with the Mets, he guided them to the NL Wild Card in 1999 and to the NL pennant in 2000. In 2004 he was hired to manage the Chiba Lotte Marines and led them to the Pacific League Championship in 2005.
But when a team goes through what the Red Sox went through this season it can’t rebound immediately. This is the only the beginning of the pain for the Red Sox and no manager, not even Tony La Russa, can guide the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2012. At the same time, I can’t see Valentine getting through to the likes of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Kevin Youkilis. It’s going to be a long year at Fenway in 2012.