Reuters photo

By Jorge Bannister

WORCESTER, Mass. — So the Boston Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine as its manager, replacing Terry Francona.

I don’t see this as a good move at all for the Red Sox.

Sure, he took the 2000 New York Mets to the World Series with Mike Hampton, Al Leiter, Rick Reed, Glendon Rusch and Bobby J. Jones as his starting rotation, but let’s not forget the epic failure that was the 2002 squad – dead last in the National League East.

After riding high in 2000 (94-68), the Mets were just 82-80 the following year. Also, in his last year managing in Major League Baseball – 2002 – the Mets finished 75-86.

Big-money contracts? No matter. Big media market? Who cares. Why, just over the weekend, Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard mentioned in a meeting with Valentine and Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington that he would prefer to be a starter for the 2012 season.

Valentine spilled the beans immediately to the media without telling Cherington. That was big news because Cherington told media members “Bard would prefer to be in one role over another” during a press conference before winter meetings.


And people said Valentine’s managerial stint in Japan cooled him down.

And that’s the type of thing to which Red Sox Nation can look foward.

Will Valentine have more control over the clubhouse than Tito did?

Possibly. He certainly will in the first year.

But at what point will the players try to police themselves and fail as they did in Francona’s last year?

All this being said, Valentine has a five-year window to win the World Series. Maybe. It may even be a three-year window. This fan base is very finicky, even though their squad won two World Series trophies in four years (2004 and 2007).

Can Valentine do it? He could. Heck, nobody thought Tito would win in ’04. Once he did, though, he was expected to win in ’07.

Welcome to your potential nightmare, Valentine.

Jorge Bannister is a web producer/reporter for the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette. He’s a New York-raised journalist living deep within Red Sox Nation.