Bobby Valentine's one year tenure as Boston Red Sox manager was one of the biggest crash and burn jobs in the last several years. The Red Sox went from AL East contender to AL East cellar dweller and had their worst season in almost 50 years. Valentine made the return to the bench after a stint on ESPN as a Sunday Night Baseball analyst. Now, Bobby V is making the quick turnaround back to the media after being a bust in Beantown.
But he's not returning to ESPN. Instead, Bobby V will take on a much lower profile role as a contributor to the NBC Sports Radio network. Via NBC release:
"Dial Global and the NBC Sports Group announced today that Bobby Valentine will join the NBC Sports Radio lineup as a Major League Baseball contributor, starting this month.
Valentine, a former Major League Baseball player and manager, most recently of the Boston Red Sox, as well as former analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, will call in weekly to affiliated stations and NBC Sports Radio talk hosts with his candid thoughts and observations on baseball. In addition, Valentine will become a part-time co-host of a soon-to-be-announced daily Monday-Friday talk show that will debut in April, 2013, as the network expands its programming lineup."
Bobby Valentine will face the same problem men like Matt Millen, Isiah Thomas, and many others who had spectacular failures in management roles - a credibility gap with the audience. I just wonder whether or not ESPN was truly interested in bringing back Bobby V, especially after the harsh words other ESPN analysts had for him and how much coverage Bristol gives the Red Sox (stunning, I know). The radio gig with NBC seems like a good place for Bobby V to rebuild his media career as it's impossible to see the door being opened to returning to managing once again.
I think ESPN crushes on the Yankees and Red Sox equally. But one of the biggest Sox cheerleaders, Steve Bethune, left to go to Arizona. That almost makes Baseball Tonight watchable again. I said almost.
In fairness though, I don't think Boston's bad season was all Bobby's fault. He didn't do a great job, but a lot of the wheels were already put in motion. At this point, I don't think he should've been hired in the first place.