Bobby Valentine Should Manage Again Because of Buck Showalter? Not so Fast
Buck Showalter's success doesn't mean Bobby Valentine would be a good managerial hire.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that Buck Showalter's success as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles means that some team should hire Showalter's former ESPN colleague Bobby Valentine.
Showalter and Valentine are both smart baseball men who don't suffer fools and therefore don't always get along so well with front offices, Sherman writes.
There probably are not 30 people who possess the leadership skills, strategic chops, gravitas, communication talents and work ethic to truly manage in the majors. The Orioles finally hired someone who does, and Baltimore arrived at the Stadium yesterday, for a series opener that was rained out, with the AL’s best record (40-26) since Showalter’s takeover. That performance should inspire an enlightened front office to overcome concerns and hire Valentine, because he should be one of the 30.
That would make a lot of sense if Bobby Valentine were Buck Showalter. But Bobby Valentine is Bobby Valentine.
You know how smart and insightful Valentine is if you've listened to him on ESPN. He's been terrific in his new role as part of the three-man "Sunday Night Baseball" booth with Dan Schulman and another former player with good insights, Orel Hershiser.
But how good a manager is he?
As Sherman points out, Showalter did "a lot of the heavy lifting for Joe Torre and Bob Brenly" as manager of the New York Yankees from 1992 to '95 and the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2000. Both teams won the World Series the year after Showalter was fired, with Torre and Brenly getting to lift the trophy.
He also won 100 games and the National League West in 1999 with the D-Backs, and his Yankees had a six and a half-game lead in the American League West at the strike in 1994.
Valentine is in the Gene Mauch club, managing for a long time with a great reputation and no first-place finishes. In six full seasons, his Texas Rangers teams never won 90 games, never finished closer to first place than five games and only once finished as high as second.
He did better in his five full seasons at the helm of the New York Mets, managing a 97-win and a 94-win team, the latter of which went to the World Series. The Mets never won their division under Valentine.
He won a Pacific League pennant and the Japan Series title in 2005 with the Chiba Lotte Marines.
Is Valentine a good choice to manage again in the big leagues? I don't know. But Showalter's success -- in 66 games, so far -- doesn't say anything about Valentine.
Showalter's known for being a great organizational manager. He makes the trains run on time, gets everyone on the same page. His strengths are the same as the strengths of a good middle manager in any industry.
Valentine is more of a game tactician, not known for running a smooth operation. He had his best success in Japan, where the baseball culture is totally different. Really the only thing he has in common with Showalter is that they were both out of managing work for a long time and working for ESPN.
To his credit, Valentine wouldn't bite on Sherman's theory: "I don’t think [Showalter’s success] has anything to do with anything," Sherman quotes him as saying. "But who knows?"
Most recent updates:
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?