You can see now why Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda is one of Bobby Valentine’s mentors.
Always on the go. Always making appearances and spreading the word about the Red Sox, as Lasorda does about the Dodgers.
Valentine has gone from event-to-event-to-event since taking over the Red Sox job and also has found time to meet with players, phone them, meet with coaches to organize spring training and says he spends 4-5 hours per day going over video of the team last season. He’s also been in on all of the moves Ben Cherington has made this offseason.
Valentine spoke to reporters at last night’s Hot Stove Cool Music roundtable. Here’s what he had to say on some topics:
On roster competition: “My overall philosophy on that is I wish the roster were extended through April so we could have real competition under the lights and real atmosphere and not in this sunny park morning baseball/afternoon baseball atmosphere. But I think it’s always good for guys to feels they have a chance to work and to make the team so they work a little harder because the more you work and practice, the better foundation you have to last the entire season. I think it’s a real tough place to compete.
“And I think it’s a misleading situation if they think they’re just competing on results because I don’t believe so much on results, but what we see, what there is. That’s how we’ll judge the competition.”
Cody Ross: “As an outfielder obviously, he’s a guy, who if he stayed healthy, it looks like a lot of his numbers translate pretty well. So I’ll just see how he can fit into the grouping and see where he might be able to fit best in. I’ve seen him play every day and play well, as we all have in the late season and post-season, but I don’t like labeling people.”
Will there be a platoon at shortstop? “No. I don’t believe in platoons necessarily. With the guys that are here, I’m looking forward to seeing how it will play out. If I had a preconceived notion about what would really happen, then why would we even go to spring training? I’ve never seen any of the guys ever play other than (Nick) Punto or other than on television or in the booth. If we get seven weeks together and we practice together and we play together, that’ll all work its way out.”
Is it strange having multiple people at shortstop? “It seems different, but not so different than the World Champions were last year and not so different than World Champions have been in this city. So often the shortstop is a stable piece of the group, but the exceptions have worked, also.”
On the extra wild card: “I play by any rules that the commissioner and the owners set. I think it’ll be good for another few cities and baseball fans to hang on a little longer and see what happens.”
His whirlwind start as Sox manager: “Not tough. Enjoyable. I like to get things done and there have been a lot of things going on and I’m glad I had a chance to do a lot of things like this. I think this is part of the entire baseball culture and if you let things like this go away then I think eventually the entire culture will leave us.”