Thursday, September 6, 2012

Being Bobby Valentine

What is going on inside Bobby Valentine's head?

Bobby V is of course the 2012 Manager of the Red Sox (so far anyway). Many believe he was chosen for his reputation as a no-nonsense disciplinarian. But from almost the beginning he's done a poor job.

I find compelling the idea that a lot of Valentine's failure is due to the mixed, variable, ill-defined mission that he's been tasked with by the higher-ups in the Redsox. But it seems pretty clear that another big factor has been his poor communication skills.

And it's not just that he's not good a expressing himself. It seems that he often doesn't understand what's happening in front of him.

Over the past few weeks Valentine's been having increasingly bizarre encounters with the media. He get's asked a question -- admittedly these are often questions that are intended to expose some shortcoming of his -- and instead of answering, or NOT answering, he challenges the question.

Suggesting sometimes that it's a foolish question. Or one that the asker should already know the answer to. Or some other complaint about the nature of the question.

I get that these question are often intended to get Valentine to look bad, but hey, that's the game.

Here's the thing that puzzles me about Valentine. He's a lifelong baseball guy. He's been there and done that. How is it that he seems so naive about how the media and the manager are supposed to dance.

If they're asking a question that's intended to trip you up, hey that's what they do, and you can parry it. And if they seem to be asking a question that they know the answer to, that's their job too! They need to know what you think the answer is. That's reporting.

So I can't figure out what's going on in Valentine's head. I can't imagine he's that naive. Is he just too angry at the situation to be willing to play? Or is he on the verge of snapping. I've never thought he was the right manager for the Redsox, but I don't wish that on him. That would be too bad.

I wonder what's next.

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