Is This Stage Too Big For Bobby Valentine?

On the surface, that seems like a far-fetched question, after all, he did manage in New York.

It was the Mets though, not the Yankees, and no matter how good the Mets are, they don’t get the coverage that the Yankees do,  and for all the talk about the “tough” New York media, from an outsider, that seems like a myth.

Valentine’s behavior and performance this season often seem to be that of someone who is over his head and overwhelmed by his surroundings. His appearances on radio and TV have been marred by bizarre comments and head-scratching statements. From his very curious calling out of Kevin Youkilis the first week of the season right up to his recent “punch you in the mouth” comment to Glenn Ordway, Valentine has gotten himself into one mess after another this season.

He acts like someone who is overcompensating for a lack of confidence or security. It’s all been very odd. He’s been nothing like what he was billed to be by the likes of Gerry Callahan and Nick Cafardo coming into the season. Callahan the last few mornings has been saying that “we’ve all” been surprised by Valentine this season, which I disagree with. I think the majority of people were wary of Valentine right from the start, and only those who either cross themselves to Larry Lucchino each morning or who blatantly attempt to curry favor with the manager were boosters of Valentine as the successor to Terry Francona.

Kirk Minihane asks Is the media too tough on Bobby Valentine? I don’t know if that is the right question. It might be instead “Is Bobby Valentine tough enough for the Boston media?”

Media links:

Jim Nantz, Phil Simms familiar with Patriots – Chad Finn’s media column has CBS’s top NFL duo talking Patriots. A couple of years ago I wrote a column for Patriots Football Weekly which showed that Nantz and Simms had called more Patriots games than any other TV duo ever.

Patriots tight ends have Shannon Sharpe’s endorsement  – Bill Doyle has the CBS analyst talking about the Patriots tight end combination.

Doyle also wrote a very good column on the reunion of Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman this week.

Will the Kids be Alright? – George Cain notes Felger and Mazz’s examination of a Greg Bedard column from earlier in the week and adds his own thoughts.

Media Roundup: Could Brian Scalabrine Eventually Replace Tommy Heinsohn? – Though Finn reports above that Scal is an additional hire, not a replacement, I wonder if there is a little Gino Cappelletti/Scott Zolak thing going on here.

The Patriots kick things off for real this weekend, check all the constantly updated coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    Kirk Minihane :

    “But let’s stop lying to each other. We often engage in reporting or reacting to gossip because it’s easier to write and because we know you’ll read it. And you read it because you really like it or really like to hate it. If you stopped caring, it would be done, trust me. But it’s not going away……
    People, for the most part, inhale drama. It’s why Harvey Levin has six houses and his own plane. And sports fans are no different. There is literally no other way to explain the success of Skip Bayless.”

    I’m starting to think Minihane is right. We the readers are to blame for the sorry state of affairs that is the Sports Media these days.

    • latetodinner

      So all of a sudden people have changed? I don’t buy it. 4000 years ago a blind poet wrote about the palace intrigue and gossip that started the Trojan War. His readers have been captivated ever since. Minihane is asking the wrong question. His job depends on me and you and every other fan being interested in more than the results on the field. Their job is to explain why a result happened. Its not our fault as fans that the people playing are performing the way they are, and that the explanations for why they are performing as they do are so salacious. Let’s not take the eye off the ball…if the team did not suck, then there would not be the soap opera.

    • bsmfan

      Well, since many columns only wind up online, the only “metric” as to if the writer is good or bad is click-throughs. So, appeal to the LCD, get a bunch of hits for gossip, ie=CPM$, carry on.

      It’s an interesting question but I think more suited for a J-school debate.

  • Frank

    I normally enjoy Jackie Mac, but I have to call B.S. on her today. From today’s column on Wes Welker: “There’s plenty of chatter regarding “windows closing” on the Patriots’ title hopes in these parts.”
    Everyone knows that Tom Brady is getting older but because of his continued high level of play I really don’t hear that window is closing talk all too often around here, unless of course it’s from Jackie Mac. From her 9/12/11 column titled Tom Brady’s Time to cash in is starting to run out: “The clock is ticking. Remember the boyish quarterback with the chiseled cleft chin and the tight spiral who, on Feb. 3, 2002, embodied the gleeful disbelief of the entire region of New England when he clutched his head in wonderment after engineering the first Super Bowl win for the Patriots? He turned 34 in August.”
    She goes on to say, “Seven years without a title is hardly catastrophic, but when your quarterback is viewed as the best — or among the best — in the game by virtually every expert, at some point you have to deal with the facts: Tom Brady won’t be around forever, and before you know it, he will be on the back end of his remarkable career.”
    Maybe it’s me because I don’t listen to too much sports radio around here anymore, because quite frankly I think most of the hosts are garbage, but it seems like all the “chatter” is coming from Jackie herself. Funny I never pegged her as an agenda person.

    • Frank

      Of course you can’t argue that Brady is getting older. Everyone in the league is getting older. My point was she apparently started banging the “window closing” drum last year. How did Brady respond, with the first 5,000 yard season of his career and a trip to the Super Bowl. And a year later she’s back at it again. I really don’t need to be reminded that we only have maybe 5 more years (tops) of Brady at an elite level, possibly even top 1/3rd of quarterback. The fact that she did back to back years comes off as lazy and agenda driven and I never thought Jackie to be either one of those things.

      • Winning_Again

        Nicely put Frank, agree completely.

    • http://twitter.com/BruceNV Bruce Newman

      George, you talk a lot but don’t want to hear dissenting opinions. Do you actually LIKE football and the patriots? Before you spinelessly blocked me today, you said “the defense looks the same”. Really? Who last year could’ve made the rush jones did? You realize that all 3 top draft picks made game-changing plays? You realize that much smarter people than you said how great Brady played, even with his (alleged) “closing window”? You realize how young this team is, that Brady is the only one on the team with 3 rings?
      And George, are you a world class athlete? Because if not, you being 40 in no way compares to Brady being 35. I kind’ve feel sorry for you. It seems your only enjoyment in sports is beign a miserable contrarian, an “anti-fan”, and spamming local media types with your “deep observations”.

  • Phil

    Hey Hey !! A Bobby V breakdown !! Way to keep it stale Bruce.

  • Chris W.

    Bruce: nice call pointing out Callahan’s surprise at Bobby V. I think like most I wasn’t surprised at the coach’s volatility, but I’m disappointed in his lack of media savvy. Thought this season would be frustrating on the field, but far more entertaining off of it. Don’t even have that this year.

  • 02062

    As Bruce pointed out, the morning of the Jets game in Jersey last year Jackie wrote that “dark days were ahead for the Patriots”. Sooner or later she’ll be right by golly.

  • Chris

    George, they’re the best run franchise in sports run by the best coach of our generation and perhaps ever. I’d defer to him on this subject and take for granted he knows what he’s doing rather than some clown such as yourself who thinks he knows anything about how the professional sports world really works. Now go back to playing your Madden ’13 game and pretend you’re a real life GM because thats as close as you’re ever going to get. You talk about being 40 and question Brady’s health. Then you question Belichick’s decisions. Seriously, go be a Jets fan because thats where you belong.

    • 02062

      Who has won 10 in a row George? If Waters had chosen to show up for the offseason workouts and camp he’d be on the roster getting the 1.4 he signed for wouldn’t he? You call Chris a moron and than rip him for not making an argument on merit without name calling like a 5 year old?

    • latetodinner

      Sure…according to reports the Pats wanted him to play for vet minimum. Waters did not go to camp last year, stayed out of camp this year, is 35 years old and the Pats felt that at Vet minimum he was good value, but at $1.4 mill, regardless of how nice a guy he is, that there was too much risk. Had he reported to camp, come to the offseason program and generally been part of the team, I doubt they ask for a pay cut. This is all on Waters and how he treated the Pats…not the other way around.

      • TonyC66

        Bravo.
        It drives me crazy that the Patriots and Belichick (and Kraft) are always portrayed as the cheap guys, or the bad guys whenever a player leaves the team–whether it’s over money or anything else. There’s never any blame assigned to the player. For instance, when Branch held out and was ultimately traded in 2006, the constant drumbeat was of how he was mistreated by the organization. The simple fact was that he had a year left to go on his contract, and failed to honor the contract by failing to report to camp.
        Waters has left the Pats hanging since February. First with his “I might retire” stuff, and now, apparently, because he expects to be paid a full salary despite skipping ALL of the required offseason programs and workouts, when every other veteran healthy enough to participate, did so.
        At some point the player has to be held accountable, too.
        It absolutely drives me nuts–this constant “The Patriots are cheap and don’t pay or treat their players fairly” nonsense. Felger has suggested that by signing Gronk and Hernandez now, the Patriots are somehow “screwing” them later. Even GOOD news about signings is treated like another “screw job” the Patriots are giving to a player.
        This nonsense needs to stop. They are, as others have pointed out here, either the best, or certainly one of the best-run organizations in all of sports. They make mistakes. They sometimes do questionable things. But their overall track record is stupendous, and it seems that not enough people appreciate that fact.
        Also, if they are, in fact, somehow $10 million under the cap heading into the regular season, then that’s a GOOD thing. It leaves them a lot of flexibility to add a veteran player at a position of need as the season goes along, while still having all of their core players under contract for at least the 2012 season. Also, if they are $10M under the cap, that’s money they can use to extend Welker, if they wish, during the bye week, which is usually when extensions have gotten done during the season in the Kraft/BB era.

        • Brianwaterslocker

          A team can’t extend the contract of a franchise player until after the season.

        • TonyC66

          Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification. I stand by my earlier points, however, which is that having cap space, at any time during the year, is a good thing.

    • Chris

      You’re calling someone else a moron after you compared your 40 year old self to Tom Brady saying that people dont know what getting old is like. Really? People dont know about getting old? Not to mention you spend every day on here peeing your shoes over decisions made by the Pats which is comical. Find another hobby if following the Pats is this stressful on your life. Its supposed to be fun. Second guessing the best run franchise in sports is idiotic on the highest level. Go question the Sox front office if you want to second guess the people running things. You just look silly going on and on about Waters like somehow he’s the make-or-break guy that will or wont be coming back to a team that just went to its 5th super bowl in 11 years. I think they’ve EARNED a pass on yahoos like you questioning decisions they choose to make.

    • Winning_Again

      In regards to: “Can anyone make an argument on merit without name calling like a 5 year old?”


      Hey Chris, you’re a moron at the highest level. ”

      -Clearly you can’t!

    • Carl


      Brian Waters is a good player and a better person”

      LMFAO How do you know what kind of person Waters is? Did he invite you over to his house for dinner or something like that?

      • GeorgeCain72

        I know people that know him.

        • Scott

          No, you don’t. You Tweet people that know him. Not the same thing.

    • HighWireNickEsasky

      Proper grammar and cogent thought are also beneath you.

      • GeorgeCain72

        Pick up lap top and stand a post Nick. Don’t just talk tough behind your computer.

        • Scott

          Hey George, are you THREATENING Nick? Bruce, do we need death threats on this board?

        • Scott

          also “pick up lap top and stand a post” is probably not the most effective response to a guy that is questioning your grammar and ability to reason.

        • HighWireNickEsasky

          When I think of George at his lap top (sic) I envision an infantryman on the front, vigilantly watching for the enemy. Thank you for your service.

    • Scott

      Hey George, I notice there are several people making an argument on merit here, yet you have fallen strangely silent. I wonder why that is. Oh, wait, because you’ve never made an argument on merit here. Just typical hair-on-fire stuff from the heart of the Felger demographic.

    • GeorgeCain72

      Hey Bruce, do we need death threats on the board.

    • GeorgeCain72

      Your comments are disturbing and inappropriate.

  • Frank

    My question with Howe’s story is where did his information come from? He states the salary reduction part as if it is a well-known fact. He doesn’t cite any league or team sources or even the arbitrary, persons with knowledge of the situation. Isn’t that a prerequisite of reporting new information?

  • bsmfan

    PFT, who is pretty good at the cap stuff (Oh no the cap is crap!!!)

    Patriots: $10.0 million.

    As of September 3rd. They track it at least weekly.

    Link: http://bit.ly/OtvcR4

    • latetodinner

      Miguel is the best of all of them and he is a great guy…for a Connecticut native. He has by far the most comprehensive and best cap site on the web. Most media members trust his numbers and refer to them. In the past when he has had glaring mistakes as I understand it, Pats insiders have helped him get things right. He does not claim his site is official but the info he garners is top notch. If he says they are $10.5 mill under with the possiblility of being $13.5 mill undert hen I trust his numbers.

  • alex

    You don’t give more money to the guys who skip the entire off season and preseason – even if it is an excused absence. Waters is a great player and by all accounts a great guy, but still, you gotta reward the guys who stick with the program year round, not just during the season.

  • bsmfan

    I’m also surprised this didn’t get more attention/play around here. Sometimes, I forget the USAToday is even in business, except for when you’re at a hotel.

    http://usat.ly/OXcl1U

    Bob Nightendale writes, ”

    They already have their top choice to replace
    Valentine in John Farrell, according to a high-ranking official who
    requested anonymity because the Toronto Blue Jays manager is under contract. Farrell is beloved by the organization after serving as pitching coach from 2007 to 2010.
    If they can’t pry away Farrell, who’ll be the focus of attention at Fenway Park today as the Blue Jays open a three-game series there, look for the Red Sox to turn to Mike Scioscia if he is fired by the Los Angeles Angels.
    If they can’t get either, they’ll be more likely to bring back Grady Little than keep Valentine.”

  • bsmfan

    Tom Curran weighs in on the Waters situation. Personally, after the Herald/Globe reports came out, conflicts details and various parts of the story, I had no clue what to make of it all.

    Since the reports – or at least the details – have been foggy, I asked whether every report, including the Boston Globe saying it learned “months ago”
    that Waters agreed to a deal that would cut his salary but pay him
    bonuses for every time he was on the 46-man active gameday roster, was
    untrue as well. The source said he didn’t know everything that’s been
    reported.

    I’ve had multiple sources tell me the notion of a pay cut is
    inaccurate. But, perhaps contrary to widely held beliefs, solid
    sportswriters don’t just say, “Maybe I’ll make up a story about the
    Patriots requesting Waters take a pay cut” and go with it. The
    information was passed on in seemingly vague terms to Jeff Howe, who
    reported it for the Herald. ….

    But there’s been nothing concrete enough around that to build a story around. As it’s been for much of this odd impasse.

    http://bit.ly/U1CCwk

  • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andy Dursin

    Curran’s article on Waters was obviously written out of response to Felger’s show yesterday. I knew within several minutes of listening to Felgie that he was going to take the same old “Pats putting the screws on players” line he’s used a million times before. I mean, has there EVER been a circumstance in which he hasn’t sided with a player over a team in a contract/personnel situation? So predictable and tired, I quickly turned it off. Obviously I missed nothing for the next 4 hours!

    • bsmfan

      I was listening and even when Greg Bedard, who “Felger respects” (or he claims to maybe because he knows others do), he tried to bend Bedard’s argument any and every each way to fit within his “Krafts screw everyone over” and “the cap is crap”. It’s annoying at this point. We get that you don’t like the business side of NFL owners. If it bothers him that much, I don’t know why they have him on CSNNE coverage for Patriots pre/post game.

      Was it Bedard or maybe Flynn that blamed Felger for being mad because it was Reiss, and not him, who was selected as the 5th Kraft son?

      If anything, Bedard said we don’t know everything, and it is hard to really draw accurate conclusions.

      Really, we’re at another place like the NBA with him where he would do himself some favors by not covering or stepping back for a second.

  • GRBSPR

    I never thought I’d see the day when a Red Sox manager would be chosen based on how well he’d get along with a collection of undereducated, socially maladjusted media hacks whose sole career objective in life is to get into sporting events for free and eat food someone else pays for.

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