The admittedly “miserable” year for Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine took an interesting turn on Wednesday afternoon when he told WEEI host Glenn Ordway he’d “punch you right in the mouth” for asking a question during an interview on the Boston sports radio giant.
The question from Ordway could be defined many ways: It was provocative, it was controversial, it was definitely designed to elicit a response and, well, it was stupid. Ordway asked Valentine if he has “checked out” for the season.
“What am 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. Why would someone even … that’s stuff 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?”
To hear the entire interview in all its glory, click here.
Of course, the rabid Boston fan base has been asking itself the same question about Bobby V, what with reports of him showing up late to the ballpark—reports Valentine flatly denied, or dodged … or both – and his curious response of “who cares” to at least one question during postgame interviews.
The embattled Red Sox manager moved quickly from irritated to red hot, however, when Ordway demanded a reason why he was late to the ballpark in Oakland last week during a series in which Boston was swept in three games by a combined score of 33-5.
“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. For someone to say that I was late is an absolute disgrace to their integrity if they have any.”
Valentine has said repeatedly that he is open to returning for the second year of his two-year contract to manage the club. To call the 2012 season a disappointment for the Red Sox would be to dramatically undersell it. Expected to contend once again for a postseason berth, Boston is instead fighting to stay ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays at the bottom of the American League East. At 63-75 with 24 games to play, Boston is only mathematically still alive in the playoff race. They trail the New York Yankees by 15 games for the division lead and the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles by 14 games for the final wild-card position.
But while Valentine is saying he wants to come back for year two, the subtext in this quote from the Ordway debacle … I mean, interview … is unmistakable.
“This is what I chose to do,” Valentine said. “I think it’s been miserable, but it’s also been part of my life’s journey. You learn from misery.”
Roughly translated, I believe the message to Boston management was this: “For the love of all that’s holy, put me out of my misery already.”
I don’t think we’ll have to wait very long after the regular season concludes for Bobby Valentine to get his wish.