This is an article from the Dec. 12, 2011 issue
The former Rangers, Mets and Chiba Lotte Marines manager left jobs as an ESPN analyst and Stamford, Conn., public safety director to take over the Red Sox.
DAN PATRICK:Why was your Dec. 1 press conference so emotional?
BOBBY VALENTINE: I don't know how you control emotion. I'm a big boy. I was going to be cool. I was going to do the big-time press conference and show everyone that I know how to act in front of the camera. Once you start getting those tingles up your back and the tears, you [think], Wait a minute, what's this all about? I enjoyed it, actually. You don't have that many chances in life to express true emotion in front of other people.
DP:Did you have to sell yourself to the Red Sox, or did they sell the job to you?
BV: I think I had to sell them. I was very interested in this job. At the beginning I was a real dark-horse candidate who was allowed to run in the race, and I finished first.
DP:Did the difference between your style and that of former manager Terry Francona ever come up?
BV: They never really asked about that. Maybe indirectly they were looking for it in some of my answers. I wasn't overtly trying to say, "Hey, I do this" or "I do that." I just tried to say that I have a few thousand games of experience. I hope I've learned from my mistakes. I would really like the opportunity to manage a bunch of guys with this kind of talent. It's a dream job for a manger.
DP:Do the Red Sox' players need more discipline?
BV: Everyone likes a little discipline. I'm not the guy who blows the whistle and cracks the whip. I appreciate order, and I appreciate respect for the game. Maybe I'll bring that to this team if it didn't have it before [see page 40]. But I'm sure things are going to be more similar than different.
DP:Why nine years between MLB managerial jobs?
BV: [When] I was offered [major league] jobs in Japan, I was under contract and knee-deep in building [the Chiba Lotte] franchise. I left there two years ago and was lucky to get behind a microphone and in front of a camera. Finally I got the opportunity.
DP:How many teams reached out to you in Japan?
BV: Three. [They were like] Hey, would you leave right now? I turned those down.
BV: I don't think I should say that.
DP:Would you tell Karl Ravech on the set of Baseball Tonight?
BV: He's pretty good, you know.
DP:You bring a lot of personality to a team. Is it possible to bring too much personality?
BV: Possibly. At the end of the day, the ball is going to be pitched by some very talented guys. It's going to be hit by very talented guys. Hopefully picked up by some very talented guys. How they do that is going to be the determining factor.
DP:Do you expect to be in the World Series?
DP:You grew up in Connecticut. Were you a Yankees fan?
BV: Basically. My uncle was a Red Sox fan. My dad was a Yankees fan. You know how that goes.
DP:Are any of your relatives upset you're joining the Red Sox?
BV: No, my relatives and my friends are Bobby V fans.
NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp believes Ndamukong Suh was suspended for two games partly because of the timing of his Thanksgiving Day stomp on a Packers lineman. "Moms and grandmas who don't watch football were watching this," Sapp said.... Fox's Troy Aikman thinks Aaron Rodgers's passing skill is only one reason for his success. "He's got an unbelievable personality for the position," Aikman said. "He knows when to ride guys. But he's got an element—I don't want to say Favre-like—where you can tell he enjoys the game." ... Recently fired UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel last year gave the school a list of improvements needed to compete. "We need a football building that speaks to our commitment to football," Neuheisel told me. "You don't want to take a knife to a gun fight." ... The Penn State scandal and looming Ohio State sanctions could give other Big Ten schools a recruiting edge, but Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he wouldn't touch those topics. "If we've got to talk about the negatives of other schools," Hoke said, "we don't have enough positives."