When I was a kid my old man briefly worked for SNL as a unit production manager. He went to spring training one year (must have been ’78 or ’79) to shoot a segment that became famous as the “baseball been berry, berry good to me” routine. I didn’t know about that at the time, only that he was going to spring training. Too bad he was going to see the Mets not the Yankees.
My disappointment continued when he returned home and I peppered him with questions about the players. The Old Man didn’t much care for jocks, with few exceptions, so they didn’t make any impression. Except for one.
“Who was your favorite, Dad?”
He didn’t hesitate. “Bobby Valentine.”
Bobby Val–wait, who? This scrub?
Many years later, when Valentine became a manager, I grew to appreciate him as one of the game’s great characters. He’s full of himself, sure, but in a way that is endlessly amusing to me. I understood what my old man must have seen him him–the charisma, the intelligence, the arrogance. Anyhow, as much as I like watching Bobby V on ESPN, I can’t wait for him to get back in the game and stir it up.
Florida, you say? Sounds good to me.