Whether you like Bobby Valentine, new skipper of the Boston Red Sox, or not, you have to admit he knows how to stir the pot and cause a commotion. Bobby V (as he is affectionately known here in New York) is a master provocateur, a spin artist of the highest caliber. Bill O’Reilly’s famous catch phrase is “The spin stops here.” Bobby’s might as well be “The spin starts here.” Believe it or not, he would not have it any other way.
It has been ten years since Bobby has managed a Major League Baseball team. In that time he has not climbed a mountain in Tibet and become enlightened; no, Bobby hasn’t changed one bit. He started talking to the press and you know there is always a game plan. There was some negative press going on about the Red Sox: beer was being banned in the clubhouse, Jason Varitek was retiring, the team blew it last year, etc. What better way for Bobby to spin things his way than to attack the New York Yankees? You can either get agitated about it or sit back and admire how crafty Bobby V can be.
Today Bobby Valentine is splashed across the headlines in the New York papers. Yankees fans are outraged that he spoke about the sacred cow Derek Jeter, and the less than sacred cow A-Rod. Jeter lied about a play being practiced by the Yankees a decade ago; who can even remember what happened last season? Varitek beat A-Rod up; I am not even sure about when or where this happened. For Bobby V the devil is not just in the details – it is the light of his life to get people agitated about them.
As a Mets fan I still like Bobby Valentine. I admire how he managed my team, how he stood up for New York after 9/11, and the way he pushed his team to be the best team it could be (even when that was difficult to say the least). All the other stuff with Bobby V is the package deal: getting thrown out of the game and sitting with a disguise in the clubhouse, for example. Saying things that he knew were going to get people angry or talking. That’s Bobby and there’s no changing him.
The problem is that Yankees fans now want to break down Bobby’s comments and defend their guys. They want to prove that Jeter did practice that play, that A-Rod didn’t get beaten up, and on and on. The problem is that is exactly what someone like Bobby wants. You argue about what he says, you get into a debate, you rage against him and the Red Sox, and he thinks he is winning. You know what, since the focus is off his team and on these silly comments, he has succeeded exactly as planned.
So take it from a Mets fan who knows Bobby V’s act – the devil is in the details. Yankees fans (and anyone else for that matter) should not get sucked in by what he says. They shouldn’t get angry and bothered and want blood, because in that way Bobby thinks he is winning, and maybe he is because it is his fault the spin gets started but it’s everyone else’s for letting it spin out of control.
One thing is for certain, the baseball season will be a lot more entertaining with Bobby V back in the picture. Welcome back, Bobby Valentine!
Photo Credit – AP