The Red Sox have hired colorful and controversial former Mets skipper Bobby Valentine as their new manager. Valentine, who managed the Mets for six seasons and led them to the World Series in 2000, will take over for Terry Francona following the Sox's historic collapse at the end of last season. Below, relive our favorite Valentine's moment with the Mets—when he put on a fake mustache to sneak back into the dugout after getting ejected from a game:
Sportswriters are pumped about Valentine, who has worked as a baseball commentator and hasn't been shy about criticizing players, including Red Sox ace Josh Beckett. The NY Times excitedly notes that the man who "taunted the Yankees and stoked a rivalry from across town, now will do so from Fenway Park," and SBNation wrote that non-Red Sox fans should be "absolutely thrilled" about the hiring because the "American League's going to be a lot more interesting with him than without him."
Some reports suggest that Red Sox players and fans might be uneasy at the idea of Valentine's abrasive style shaking up the clubhouse, which was dogged by rumors of insubordination, beer drinking and chaos in the aftermath of last season. ESPN reports one source inside the Sox thought "they're going to have a mess on their hands" if Valentine was hired. And Tyler Kepner writes, "Some fans will immediately be put off by Valentine. They will be skeptical of his sales pitch, or yearn for the folksy, self-deprecating Terry Francona, who never flaunted his considerable baseball knowledge."
Valentine. who has managed more than 3,000 games for the Texas Rangers, the Mets and the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, has kept extremely busy off the baseball field. After that successful stint as a manager in Japan, Valentine worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN; he owns a sports cafe in Stamford, Connecticut—Bobby V’s (where he claims to have invented the wrap sandwich)—runs the Bobby Valentine Sports Academy, and hosts the annual Bobby Valentine Celebrity Wine & Food Experience. As if that weren't enough, last winter Valentine was named as the director of public health and safety of his hometown, Stamford.
Below, check out a video in which Valentine fully explains why he donned the fake mustache and big glasses that Mets game. Blame Robin Ventura!