SALEM, Mass. — As the keynote speaker of the Salem State University speaker series, former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had his chances.
A chance to finally speak out against the city and team that chased him out of a job.
A chance to speak his mind without any negative consequences from his former bosses.
A chance to get the last laugh.
But instead of doing what some people in his shoes would have done, the longtime coach handled things with class.
Valentine, who was joined by legendary baseball writer and NESN’s own Peter Gammons, was eager to meet with a panel of Bostons sports fans and media members in what was his first public appearance since being relieved of his duties as manager of the Sox. However, he was reluctant to speak about his personal endeavors since his firing.
“This isn’t a press conference to discuss any of that,” he explained with a smile. “It’s none of [the public's] business.”
Valentine’s smile was contagious and while some thought it would be a hostile evening, that thought was quickly eliminated when it became obvious that this was a man who had made peace with a bad situation. But that didn’t stop him from making some ill-advised jokes about players on his former team.
Bobby V joked that Daniel Bard‘s slow return from his meltdown was like “Chinese water torture.”
He also called third baseman Will Middlebrooks a “defensive liability.”
Valentine also offered his two cents on what he thought was wrong with the Red Sox system.
“There have been 44 presidents in the History of the United States and I was the 45th manager of his this team,” he explained. “That should say something about job security here. People think that they have to know everything in Boston — information doesn’t filter down from the top, but attitude does.”
Valentine may no longer hold the Red Sox managerial position but he still maintains a positive outlook.
“When I wake up, I think it’s going to be the best day of my life,” he said with a smile. “I did it today and I’ll do it tomorrow.”