Earlier this evening on “Baseball Tonight”, analyst Bobby Valentine was a tad evasive with Karl Ravech when discussing the former’s status with the Florida Marlins, describing his pending (?) interview with owner Jeffrey Loria and diminutive accu-jack enthusiast David Samson as “part of a process”. Said process may or may not have taken a weird turn, as SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports Bobby V. “is no longer being considered for the Marlins’ managerial vacancy.”
Valentine had been viewed as the top candidate for the job since Fredi Gonzalez was fired last week, and sources told SI.com and other outlets on Friday that the longtime friend of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would indeed be hired. ESPN, Valentine’s employer for the past several months, reported that the Marlins were expected to make a four-year offer to him.
Why negotiations between Valentine and the team ended was not immediately known. He has a long relationship with Loria, having managed the Rangers when Loria owned that franchise’s Triple-A affiliate.
The Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi has a few guesses as to just what’s really going on.
First, the buyout clause in his ESPN contract was an issue, although it was one that ” at least as of yesterday ” was not considered to be a deal-breaker.
I’m also hearing rumblings that Valentine may have had second thoughts on whether he’ll be able to manage a winning team this year if he takes over the Marlins. He is believed to have had concerns, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, about the bullpen (get in line, bobby!) and whether the front office would address the team’s shortcomings this year.
Two other thoughts on what might’ve happened: Valentine may have wanted too much money and may have wanted more control over player/ personnel issues than the team wanted to give him.
“Things have gotten complicated,” is what I was told yesterday. Looks like maybe that was an understatement.