ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine, the great orator who took over for Joe Morgan on Sunday Night Baseball, may be leaving our living rooms and making a return to the dugout. According to WEEI.com, he's one of two remaining candidates the Boston Red Sox are considering for their vacant skipper position, which they'd like to have filled before Winter Meetings begin next Monday:
According to a team source, the Red Sox owners met with Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont earlier this week. He and ESPN broadcaster Bobby Valentine are the two managerial candidates who have met with team owners in the second round of the interview process. As of now, the source said, there are no plans to conduct further interviews (either with Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo or with another candidate), though as the late emergence of Valentine in the process suggests, such a possibility cannot be dismissed entirely.
The team has yet to make a decision. However, with the field narrowed significantly, the team seems likely to announce a hiring next week, prior to the start of the winter meetings.
Some are recklessly speculating that Valentine is the favorite, but Valentine said he hasn't heard a word. Lamont said he hasn't spoken with anyone from the Red Sox front office since his trip to New York on Wednesday to meet with Red Sox chairman Tom Warner and doesn't know "what their time frame is right now."
I don't know what direction the Red Sox are going to go here, but it'd be a shame if we lost our "best" Sunday Night Baseball analyst before he bestowed us more nuggets like this, and this, and this, and this. Personally, I'm pulling for Gene Lamont.