With one unidentified Mets official saying of the Bobby Valentine/Steve Phillips power struggle, “we fired the wrong guy”, Fox Sports’ Bob Klapisch takes aim at the current Mets’ manager’s job security, writing, “it wouldn’t take a full-blown dark age to oust Jerry Manuel; one long losing streak in late May would be enough.” (link lifted from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Valentine had a street named after him in Japan. A beer. A hamburger. He was also the first foreign manager to ever prevail in the Japanese World Series. Yet, he’s back in the U.S. after a six-year run in the Far East, the victim of a personality clash with his bosses.
That’s the surcharge of hiring a classic alpha-male. Eventually, inevitably, someone gets intimidated by Valentine’s energy. A Marines official all but said Valentine had out-grown the team. “It was best for both parties, he said, that Valentine move on.
So he’s back on prime-time TV, where the dividend will be two-fold: Valentine’s work in the studio will demonstrate how well he breaks down the game and evaluates talent and otherwise remind viewers why he was able to resurrect the Rangers in the mid ’80s and the Mets in the late ’90s.
His legacy in New York is still strong. In a poll conducted by Metsblog.com, a popular fan site, Valentine received a 97 percent approval rating. The only obstacle is whether Wilpon and Minaya would consider Valentine too overwhelming.
It’s a reasonable question, since Valentine would instantly become the franchise’s most dominant figure. Still, if the Mets don’t act, some other team will.