Sports Illustrated cover boy Bobby Valentine exploded in his weekly radio interview with WEEI's The Big Show today. Glenn Ordway asked him about the public perception that he's given up on the team, citing his being late to the park for a game last week. Valentine lost it:
"What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there right now, I'd punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha. How's that sound? Is that like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing," said Valentine. "Why would somebody even, that's stuff that a comic strip person would write. If someone's here, watching me go out at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, watching me put in the right relief pitchers to get a win, putting on a hit-and-run when it was necessary, talking to the guys after the game in the food room -- how could someone in real life say that?"
His reaction to a follow-up related to his late arrival (at approximately 4:19 pm for a 7:10 pm game) for a game on Saturday night, when he was picking up his son from the airport, was even more vehement.
"I shouldn't have to explain that. That pisses me off. Whoever wrote that knew what happened. They knew that my son was coming to see me for the first time in this lousy season and that I got to see him on the road, and that his flight was late, and that I was waiting at the airport in San Francisco for his flight to come in, and that I sent the lineup in and reported to my coaches that I was going to be a little late," said Valentine. "For someone to say that I was late is an absolute disgrace to their integrity if they have any."
Oof. Ordway and Valentine eventually got on the same page and Bobby calmed down a bit, but it was still a pretty wild interview. I highly encourage you to give it a listen, or at least read WEEI.com's blog post with selected quotes.
Valentine was frustrated with the perception that he's checked out, and indicated that he's been taken out of context with several of his quotes. For instance, when Ordway asked him about his "What difference does it make?" comment as to his feelings toward the team's recent losing streak, he responded that what he meant was that his feelings don't matter -- what matters is that the players are in the right frame of mind for the games going forward.
He didn't sound like a man in love with his job. He didn't equivocally say "I want to manage this team next year," he hedged it around something he'd do if asked to do it.
He sounds tired. Not that we didn't already know that. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bobby V isn't the problem, but he's not the solution either. He's not doing a good enough job to warrant another chance, and the team needs to give this job to somebody earlier in their career that can better handle the media and time demands of the job.