Bobby Valentine will be new Red Sox skipper
The parties were reportedly still working on a deal at press time, but it looked ever more like former Mets manager Bobby Valentine will become the Red Sox' new manager.
Mike Lynch of Boston's Channel 5 news reported late Tuesday that the team and Valentine had a verbal agreement in place. The Red Sox remained silent on the subject, indicating that where there was smoke, there was probably fire.
Valentine, 61, is in the process of returning from a trip to Japan, where he twice managed the Chiba Lotte Marines, first in 1995 and then from 2004-09.
He hasn't managed in the majors in nine years, since the Mets fired him.
Valentine is known as an ultra-solid baseball man who often runs into trouble with the front office. While managing the Mets from 1996-2002, he engaged in a volatile relationship with then-general manager Steve Phillips and raised the ire of ownership when some untoward comments during a speaking engagement at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School hit the internet.
Times columnist Murray Chass recently characterized the confrontational Valentine "the most disliked man in baseball."
Chass then quoted an anonymous manager as saying Valentine's team had to be 10 games better than anyone else because "everyone hates him and plays harder to beat him."
Another manager said he'd "burn out" his bullpen in a minute "just to kick Valentine's butt."
Valentine reportedly could be named as Terry Francona's successor by Thursday.
White Sox third-base coach Gene Lamont was also considered for the job.