Dec. 1, 2011
BOSTON — Players eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse during games.
"He won't let that happen. There's no way he's going to let that happen," said Tommy Lasorda of Bobby Valentine, the new Red Sox manager.
Boston announced Valentine as its new hire Wednesday, and he will be introduced at a Fenway Park news conference on Thursday evening.
Sports analyst Bob Lobel talks about the development Thursday at noon on WGBH's "Emily Rooney Show."
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.
Francona rarely said anything negative about his players 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.
"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,” Lasorda said Wednesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. He was Valentine's manager in the minor leagues and a mentor who encouraged him to try for the Red Sox job."You give loyalty, you'll get it back.”
At a news conference the day he formally interviewed for the job, Valentine said he learned a lot about discipline while managing in Japan.
"Discipline is not 30 whacks with a whip these days," he said. "I think everyone likes discipline. I think everyone likes structure."
Francona left before he could be fired, saying the clubhouse needed a different voice. And, boy, is Valentine ever different.
A restaurateur who claims to have invented the wrap sandwich; the manager of the NL pennant-winning New York Mets and Japanese champion Chiba Lotte Marines; the director of health and public safety in Stamford, Conn.; a successful TV analyst.
He might even be most famous for returning to the dugout wearing a fake mustache and sunglasses after being ejected from a game in 1999; Major League Baseball fined him $5,000 and suspended him for three games.
Valentine's personality certainly is large. And his resume is long. But it has one major gap: He's never won a World Series.
Select tickets for 2012 will go on sale next week.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
AT NOON: "EMILY ROONEY" ON BOBBY V.