After the final game of the Red Sox's sorry 2012 season, Bobby Valentine was asked what he planned to do next. He said, "My plan now is to wake up and have a long bike ride."
Bobby Valentine is riding out of town the same way he rode in - on his bike.
Every morning during spring training Bobby would cruise in on his bike before the sun came up. The Red Sox equipment staff had to take the bike apart and put it back together in each city the team visited. Valentine lives less than a mile from Fenway Park, and he rode his bike to work every day. He stayed so late after a game one night that he got locked into the ballpark and couldn't get out. It was just Bobby and his bike trapped like rats.
We would be hard-pressed to every find another personality like Bobby V, and his unusual mode of transportation is just one of many things that makes the man completely unique. Love him or hate him, Valentine is anything but boring.
Here was a baseball manager that performed as a ballroom dancer at the 1964 World's Fair at age 14. He can salsa, he can cha cha, and he can do the sock hop. He claims to have invented the wrap sandwich. Unfortunately, Valentine is also really good at putting his foot in his mouth.
As Boston bids farewell to Bobby Valentine, let's take one more look at the 'best of Bobby.'
Valentine says he doesn't think Kevin Youkilis is "as physically or emotionally into the game." Youk was dumbfounded, and his team mate Dustin Pedroia famously said, "That's not how we do things around here" in response to Valentine publicly calling out Youk. Valentine apologized for the comment and reiterated his regret on the final day day of the season.
After the Red Sox blew a 9-0 lead and lost to the Yankees 15-9, Valentine said, "I think we've hit bottom, if this isn't the bottom, we'll find some new ends of the earth, I guess."
Be careful what you wish for- the Red Sox were not even close to the abyss.
After Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney punched a door and broke his pinkie finger, Valentine says, "boys will be boys." Instead of leaving it there, Bobby added that the door had other dents from a number of players who smashed their fist into it. "He must have went at it in the wrong direction," Valentine said of Sweeney.
It is revealed that earlier in the season, Valentine chided Will Middlebrooks after the rookie misplayed a couple of balls. Valentine's "nice inning, kid" remark went back to the owners and Valentine was left to explain to his bosses that he offered Middlebrooks words of support after the game. It was never revealed what player, coach or employee threw the manager under the bus in that situation.
A few days earlier, Valentine was late to the ballpark in Oakland after a 20-2 loss the night before. Valentine got stuck in Bay Area traffic after going to pick his son up in traffic. WEEI talk show host Glenn Ordway asked Bobby if he had checked out for the season, and Valentine (jokingly) said he would like to punch Ordway in the face.
Fresh off a suspension for slamming the door of the manager's office, pitcher Alfredo Aceves did not hand the ball to Valentine during a pitching change. Aceves took the "long way" back to the dugout in a sign of defiance to the manager. After the game Valentine said, "who cares if he showed me up? If I have to explain Aceves' actions, I'll wind up going across the river and work for Harvard."
With the Red Sox clearly on their way to their worst record since 1965, Valentine told the media, "This is the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball."
It's been a tough and trying year for anyone associated with the Red Sox. Say this about Bobby Valentine: he is not boring. He said some stupid things, but the burden of this horrible team should not be put squarely on his shoulders. The blame pie is shared with the owners, the front office, the players, the coaches, which reminds me ...
Valentine is asked if he felt undermined by his coaches. "Yes," he said, "just what I feel."
Several days before the season ended, Valentine crashed his bike in Central Park while trying to read a text sent by Dustin Pedroia.
Fitting that his first ever bike accident would put a cap on this train wreck of a season.
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