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Bobby Valentine update


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Sorry guys, here is the article

 

Valentine Displays a Perfect Pace for Radio

By LEE JENKINS

 

Published: December 23, 2004

 

 

Watching Bobby Valentine act as host of a radio show is not unlike watching him manage a baseball game. He raises his eyebrows dramatically at calls he does not agree with, winces when he pushes the wrong buttons and makes sure to have the last and loudest word.

 

Valentine's flamboyant gestures, ever-changing facial expressions and unlimited opinions made him one of the Mets' most popular managers and still make him a perfect fit for sports talk in New York.

 

While many managers get the chance to be guest hosts of radio shows in the off-season, they generally have a professional broadcaster no more than six inches away. WFAN not only persuaded Valentine to be host of a show from 10 a.m. to noon at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens the past two days, but the station also wanted him to do it alone.

 

"They just needed to show me how to push the buttons," Valentine said.

 

He has always been able to fill the air on his own. Over the two two-hour shows, Valentine ripped into John Franco for being selfish, J. D. Drew for not playing hurt and Curt Schilling for not starting the 2001 All-Star Game. Valentine said Randy Johnson would still wind up with the Yankees by spring training, campaigned for the Mets to sign Carlos Beltran and compared steroids to Viagra.

 

He greeted many callers with "yo," referred to most as "bro" and once excused himself for a break to go to the "little boys' room." He often spoke in rhymes, forced segues out of every segment and talked freely about "the wounds" he will always carry from his tenure with the Mets.

 

"I love spontaneity, and this is the essence of spontaneity," Valentine said after he walked out of the studio after the show yesterday. "You have to be quick on your feet. I just try to share my experience the best I can."

 

Valentine will return to Japan in February to continue managing the Chiba Lotte Marines, but it is not unreasonable to imagine him behind a local microphone full time in the future. He will be host to two more shows on WFAN from his restaurant in Stamford, Conn., next Wednesday and Friday and said there could be more opportunities this winter.

 

For everything Valentine did to help the Mets reach the 2000 World Series, he was just as celebrated for his ability to promote the team and help sell the sport. Valentine cultivated an image as one of baseball's most enthusiastic voices.

 

When Valentine attended a recent anniversary show on WFAN, the program director, Mark Chernoff, approached him about being host of a show or two. Valentine wanted to promote his charity event - the Bobby Valentine Foundation's Celebrity Wine Tasting Experience in Stamford on Jan. 17 - and figured a few plugs on the radio would spare some advertising expenses. He was not looking for a second career, but he would not exactly rule it out.

 

"Bobby always had a lot to say," Chernoff said. "I didn't even want anyone in the studio with him, because I was afraid a co-host might temper him too much. I figured he would make a great host, and he hasn't disappointed."

 

Yesterday alone, Valentine nicknamed Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano the New Italian Stallion, said that players in New York deserved more money than their peers, and questioned Baltimore Manager Lee Mazzilli about Carlos Delgado in an interview.

 

He blamed ill-prepared managers and pitching coaches for long games, blamed complacent veterans with long-term contracts for his firing from the Mets, and blamed "the Dodgers' young general manager," Paul DePodesta, and his "cold feet" for the collapse of the Johnson trade. Valentine said he could not understand why anyone would be reluctant to trade a player like Shawn Green.

 

Coming from most radio hosts, such controversial ideas would be commonplace. But for a former major-league manager, it was radical stuff.

 

At one point, Valentine off-handedly mentioned that Johnson and Schilling despise each other and then illustrated his claim with one of his signature stories.

 

Valentine recalled the 2001 All-Star Game as "one of the most disappointing days of my life" because Schilling backed out of his scheduled start. Reflecting on why Schilling made such a move, Valentine said: "He didn't have any intention of pitching the All-Star Game. He just wanted to make sure it wasn't Randy Johnson who was picked." At the time, Schilling and Johnson were pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and later that year, they won the World Series.

 

When Valentine left the studio yesterday, he was asked about the All-Star anecdote and immediately elaborated. He said that Johnson initially declined to start the game because he did not want to be considered Schilling's replacement, then relented.

 

Valentine sounded pointed, candid and completely incapable of pressing any internal delay button. All of the qualities that got him in trouble with the Mets could someday score him some huge ratings.

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Somebody should call up and ask him why he did this:

 

-Was ejected from a game while managing the Mets in 2001, but returned to the dugout later on with a fake mustache and glasses, trying to keep out of sight of the umpire. Several minutes later, the umpire sees him, and gives him the toss once again. This incident showed up on ESPN's list of the top 25 strangest moments in sports, or something like that.

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It was like #20 on the biggest sports bloopers for the last 25 years.

 

The question you should ask is not why, that is obvious. To protest the ejection and to still coach.

 

The question to ask is for how long was he planning this. I doubt many managers hit the ball park with Groucho disguises.

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Schilling's response to the Times article:

 

What a horrifically untrue [expletive] article," Schilling wrote in an e-mailed response to a question. "First off, Bobby Valentine doesn't know [expletive] about me nor Randy. Second, I had always intended to start the game but was never sure if I could. I earned the right to start that game and wanted to, but given the schedule that ended up being a lot like the 2004 situation, we felt it best that I not pitch so I could open up the second half in Anaheim.

 

"I can't speak for Randy's side of this story because I have no idea what went on there, but as for me starting and then not pitching, it had nothing to do with RJ or anything even remotely related to him. Bobby's an [expletive] for even making these comments and much more so, given the fact he doesn't know [expletive] about either of us, other than what he's heard."

 

 

-from Today's Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/reds...l_possible?pg=2

 

I miss Valentine as well. I'll take drama like this over Conversations with Vanessa Malone any day.

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