Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
One reporter noted that this job represents the first time that Valentine had become manager of a quality team. Valentine, as he often does, did the reporter one better, noting that it's also the first time that he's not taken over in the middle of the season.
"This is going to be different," said Valentine.
Is it ever.
Valentine is the 45th manager in the Red Sox history, but the first rock star manager the franchise has ever had.
He salivated over the prospect of taking part in the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry. He teared up and let out a sigh as he tried on the uniform for the first time. He smiled, joked and thanked all the right people.
He was "humbled, honored and pretty damn excited," he said.
CSNNE - McAdam: Valentine brings bright lights with him to Fenway
And so it begins. Except, I'm not entirely sure what 'it' is other than something completely different.
Bobby is a larger than life character. Or, as McAdam calls him, a rock star. It's not his fault. Some people just have 'it'. And Bobby's got it. People are drawn to him, and he's going to get all the attention he can handle. Good or bad. The trick is making sure that Bobby doesn't become larger than the team, a la Rick Pitino.
I evoke Pitino as a cautionary tale. That's the worst case scenario. The main difference between the two is that Rick never really had 'it'. He just desperately wanted everyone to think he did. And, to his credit, he convinced a lot of people that he did until his house of cards came tumbling down. That doesn't mean that Bobby has any more self-control.
Of course, baseball is a far different game. And the Red Sox have an embarrassing amount of talent on their roster. Adrian Gonzalez IS walking through that door, accompanied by Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, etc etc etc etc. So we're not asking Bobby to be a miracle worker.
Just take a group of best-in-class players and get them to play together, at their potential, for a full 162 game season. It's not a simple task by any means, but one Bobby Valentine is more than capable of carrying out. As long as he doesn't let himself get in the way, that is.
On Page 2, be prepared for 2 years of John Farrell rumors.
Bobby Valentine might not have a ton of time to prove himself for the Red Sox.
That's because, according to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, Valentine's contract with the Red Sox is for just two years.
It could either be an indication that Valentine, 61, might be looking for a short-term gig or that the Red Sox want to see what Valentine can bring to the team after nearly a decade away from the majors. It could just as likely be a combination of both.
NESN - Report: Bobby Valentine's Deal With Red Sox Is for Two Years
First off, the Red Sox roster was built to win a championship in 2011, so any of this "Bobby V isn't getting enough time" talk is absurd. We're not asking him to build the ship. We already have the Titanic. We just need him to avoid the icebergs this time.
Two years is more than enough time to see whether he's worthy of sticking around or not.
Of course, on the flip side of that, John Farrell's contract with the Blue Jays just happens to expire after the next two seasons. Coincidence? Possibly. Smart move by the Sox to get themselves lined up for their #1 target? More likely.
Rest of the links:
CSNNE - Sox deny Yanks' request to speak with bullpen coach Tuck | Herald - Bobby Valentine sounds all right notes in debut | Tony Conigliaro’s 25 a very good first step | David Ortiz doesn’t offer much about Bobby Valentine | Globe - Bobby's Sox | Chat with David Ortiz at noon | WEEI - The unveiling: Reality displaces perception as Bobby Valentine is introduced | Mike Lowell: ‘Everybody is borrowing Tony Conigliaro’s number anyway’ | Red Sox talked Bell before deal with Marlins | ESPN - Video: Our 1-on-1 with Bobby V | Bobby Valentine talks Sox-Yanks rivalry