Photo from Zimbio.com
Humanitarian? Ballroom dancer? Science fair guy? Gourmet chef? Restaurateur? Director of Public Health? Valentine is all of these things. How? Where does he find the time? He told me 25 years ago, “Sleep is overrated,” and it must be, because I don’t know when he sleeps. Yet he fell asleep at the wheel late one night, nearly got killed, and, if possible, doesn’t drive alone late anymore; sometimes he’ll have someone drive him.
And he has a terrible sense of direction. At ESPN, at least initially, he had to be walked from the newsroom to the studio because he couldn’t find the way. When he steps off an elevator, he says, “I have never turned the right way. I always turn the wrong way. Always.”
I know that Bobby V was introduced as the new Red Sox manager forever ago, but I wanted to post a link to this Tim Kurkjian article because it’s really, really great. He has something very insightful and complimentary things to say about Valentine and I learned a lot about the guy that I didn’t know. Apparently he claims to have invented the wrap sandwich (half-jokingly, Kurkjian assures) and he’s the Director of Public Safety and Public Health in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.
The way Kurkjian talks about how baseball-smart Bobby V is is really interesting, too:
Valentine will not allow Josh Beckett to not work in between starts. Valentine will find out how three of Carl Crawford’s five tools disappeared last year, and he will make sure he finds them in 2012. He will not allow anyone from Red Sox management, be it John Henry or Tom Werner or Larry Lucchino, to walk into his office and tell him about how the game is played. And no manager in the game will outfox Valentine on any strategic move. In the one year I covered his team, and for the 30 years I have known him, not once have I asked him a question about a move he made in a game for which he didn’t have a legitimate answer.
Everyone loves Bobby Valentine - if only for the charade of prancing around the dugout in glasses and a fake mustache that one time in 1999 - so I take back all that stuff about being excited that Theo and Tito left the division. Bobby V’s gonna bring even more to the AL East and the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry this year. Will it be a mustache and sunglasses? Who knows.