Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Valentine gets a Red Sox 'gift'

“The talent level of the players we have in this organization is a gift to anyone,” new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says.

Getty Images

“The talent level of the players we have in this organization is a gift to anyone,” new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says.

BOSTON — Bobby Valentine took over as Red Sox manager on Thursday, promising to be hardworking, open-minded and even humble as he tries to get the franchise back to the playoffs.

"It's more than a special day. It's the beginning of a life that's going to extend beyond anything I thought of doing," Valentine said. "The talent level of the players we have in this organization is a gift to anyone, and I think I'm a receiver of this gift.

"I think we're going to do this, man," he said, smiling and shaking hands with general manager Ben Cherington.

Valentine, 61, agreed to a two-year deal with club options for 2014 and 2015.

"There is a buzz," Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said, adding Valentine's personality and history in New York with the Mets could enhance an already intense rivalry with the Yankees. "I think it does add a little bit of kerosene to the fire."

Said owner John Henry: "Bobby's a big personality. I think that's a plus."

Valentine brings a reputation as a polarizing figure who isn't afraid to criticize his players publicly — something ex-manager Terry Francona never did — and who bickered with his boss at the Mets. He takes over a team that went 7-20 in September to miss the playoffs. Some players reportedly drank beer and ate chicken in the clubhouse during games.

"Reputation is something other people think about you," he said. "Right now, maybe this group of guys has a reputation that is not warranted. I can tell you I look forward to working with this group and establishing a culture of excellence."

The most intriguing part of the news conference? The possibility of making Bill Buckner the team's hitting coach.

Valentine and Buckner were college roommates who played together in the Dodgers' system. The new Boston skipper said he would consider the former Red Sox first baseman for his staff.

Despite a 21-year career in which he amassed 2,715 hits, Buckner was best remembered in Boston for his ninth-inning error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series that helped the Mets win. The sting of that loss wasn't diminished until the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought in 2004.

Report: Marlins get All-Star Bell: The Marlins have signed closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million contract, reported, pending a physical today. Ozzie Guillen Jr., son of the Marlins' new manager, tweeted he was celebrating the signing with his father. Bell, 34, was an All-Star the past three seasons as the Padres' closer.

Players approve deal: The players union ratified a labor deal that runs through the 2016 season. The deal, agreed to last week, starts blood testing for human growth hormone and institutes restraints on signing bonuses for amateur draft picks and international players. The owners have not scheduled a vote but might hold a conference call rather than wait for their next meeting Jan. 11-12.

Dodgers: Infielder Adam Kennedy signed a one-year deal.

Orioles: Backup catcher Taylor Teagarden was acquired from the Rangers for minor-league right-hander Randy Henry and a player to be named.

Yankees: Closer Mariano Rivera said he will have surgery today to remove polyps from his vocal chords.

Valentine gets a Red Sox 'gift' 12/01/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 2, 2011 12:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  2. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88


    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  3. Joe Smith's takeaways from Thursday's Lightning-Blue Jackets game

    Lightning Strikes

    While Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov grab the headlines, don't sleep on their linemate, Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov is far from a third wheel, with eight points in eight games. "He might not have the names the other two have, but he's as pivotal and vital to that line as the others," coach Jon Cooper said.

  4. Lightning journal: Derrick Brooks helps J.T. Brown make a difference

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown's decision to stop his anthem protest began to take shape just a few days after he raised his right fist before the Oct. 7 game against the Panthers in Sunrise.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown (23) on the ice at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17).
  5. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed basketball's preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.