Players eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse during games. If it didn’t bother new Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine as a baseball lifer, it would certainly offend his sensibilities as a self-proclaimed gourmet chef.
“He won’t let that happen. There’s no way he’s going to let that happen,” said Tommy Lasorda, Valentine’s manager in the minor leagues and a mentor who encouraged him to try for the Red Sox job.
“There’s times – in all phases of life – when you’ve got to kick them in the (rear) when they need it, and there’s times when you need to hug them if they need it. Your livelihood depends on those guys. You’ve got to have them in the right frame of mind, to be loyal to the organization, to put forth all the effort that they have.”
Boston announced Valentine as its new manager Wednesday, and he will be introduced by the Red Sox at a Fenway Park news conference this evening.
The 61-year-old replaces Terry Francona, who left after eight years in which he guided the Red Sox to two World Series titles but also the biggest September collapse in baseball history. The first job for the former Mets and Rangers manager: reversing a culture in which players ate takeout fried chicken and drank beer in the clubhouse during games instead of sitting on the bench with their teammates.
“You give loyalty, you’ll get it back. You give love, you’ll get it back,” Lasorda said Wednesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “And that’s the way it has to be.”
At a news conference the day he formally interviewed for the job, Valentine said he learned a lot about discipline while managing in Japan. Although the players there are more respectful of authority and less likely to step out of line, he said, they also appreciated having clearly defined rules so they knew where their limits were.
“Discipline is not 30 whacks with a whip these days,” Valentine said. “I think everyone likes discipline. I think everyone likes structure. Everyone likes to be acknowledged when they do things properly. Discipline and rules and things like that – it’s just about right and wrong.”
Francona admitted he lost his players near the end of a tenure during which he counted on them to police themselves and never said anything negative about them in public.
When Valentine was in New York, he did not hesitate to criticize his players and bickered with them, his boss and the media.
ROYALS: Right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton has been added to the roster after the former Burke County star passed a physical.
TIGERS: Infielder Ramon Santiago has agreed to a two-year contract to remain with in Detroit.
ANGELS: Los Angeles acquired catcher Chris Iannetta from the Colorado Rockies in a trade for right-hander Tyler Chatwood.
CUBS: David DeJesus could become the starting right fielder for Chicago after agreeing to a $10 million, two-year contract.
RANGERS: First baseman Mitch Moreland is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist. He underwent surgery in Cleveland on Wednesday.