With Bobby Valentine interviewing with the Red Sox there’s been a lot of chatter on the blogs and message boards things would have been different with the Mets if he was still in charge.
I dealt with Valentine several times and always found him engaging and informative, but did not have the consistent dealings other NY columnists had that have them drinking the Kool-Aid suggesting he is infallible.
The chemistry was right in 1999 and 2000 when the Mets reached the postseason, but things between him and then GM Steve Phillips deteriorated, and so did his relationship with several players. There were factions in the clubhouse, as there was with Willie Randolph.
The discipline some are writing Valentine would bring to the Red Sox conveniently forget the card playing during games while on his watch. They also forget there were times when Valentine lacked discipline of his own, such as wearing a false mustache and glasses after being ejected.
The point isn’t whether Valentine should get the Red Sox job – I hope he gets it – but he had his opportunity with the Mets and did well. However, things fell apart and changes were made.
Had the Mets showed patience and stuck with Valentine he might have pulled them out of their post World Series funk. We’ll never know. But, I don’t think the odds of success with Valentine coming back for a second tenure would have been good.
The chemistry, front office, players and economics changed after Valentine left and that would have worked against him. Valentine had his time with the Mets, but a second chance after leaving wouldn’t have guaranteed he would have duplicated the success of his first tenure.