WHY Bobby V?

I don't understand why Mets fans are so obsessed with Bobby Valentine. In more than 2,000 MLB games, he has a record of 1,117 - 1,072. That's a .510 winning percentage, with just two playoff appearances out of 14 seasons completed (with the Rangers, he was fired midway through another year).

Perhaps fans like him simply because the Mets have such a sorry history, and he was able to lead the team to consecutive playoff berths. But the fact of the matter is that although he is known throughout MLB as an individual with a high baseball IQ, the teams that he has managed haven't performed particularly well. Admittedly, a manager cannot be judged solely on the team's record as the manager does not control the talent level of the team: that is within the purview of the owner (who must approve expenditures) and the GM and his staff (who control the free agents signed, players traded for, and minor leaguers recalled, i.e. - the composition of the 25 roster).

I just don't get this fixation with Valentine that fans seem to exhibit. He's not a Hall of Fame-caliber manager, by any stretch of the imagination. He hasn't won all that much, and he hasn't done anything that is revolutionary or even exceptionally noteworthy.

The Mets' most important hire will undoubtedly be the general manager, who provides the vision and foresight for the direction of the franchise. That individual is the steward of the ship, and the manager (a la some of the statements of Sandy Alderson), is a person of much less importance who executes the team's plan with a great deal of advice, instructions, and outright orders from the front office. But having said, the manager is still integral to success as he is the primary liasion with the players and the media.

I see Valentine as the typical quote unquote "controlling" manager that Alderson has described and derided. He is blustery and arrogant, and sniped with both his GM and announcers like Tim McCarver during his tenure. Yes, the Mets made the playoffs twice and the World Series once during the seven seasons he completed, but he created a lot of drama (remember Whartongate?) and his frequent unvarnished comments to the press did not endear himself to his players.

Management (and fans) would be willing to tolerate Valentine's ego and mouth IF he were the type of manager who significantly elevated his players' performance. But based on his track record, there is absolutely no evidence that he does that. In essence, I think he is exactly the type of manager that I (and Sandy Alderson) DON'T want!

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