"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Back in Business?

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.

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1 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2010 12:54 pm

I've been saying it for 7 years, baseball is just more fun when Bobby V. is somehow involved.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:07 pm

Valentine is way too goofy for my tastes.

Carl Crawford was pulled in Tampa. I suspect he's no longer a Ray

3 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:13 pm

2) Whadda ya mean he was pulled?

4 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:17 pm

He was in the game and now is not. Nothing seemed to happen

5 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:19 pm

Sore left shoulder

6 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:19 pm

[2] I would never in a million years want him managing the Yankees, but he's fun to have around.

7 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:19 pm


Left shoulder soreness ....

8 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:24 pm

6) True, but you wouldn't want him managing another team in your division either. This way, he's close, but not too close. Plus, he's perfect for a losing team with some talent. I always thought of Bobby as a dry-drunk version of Billy the Kid.

9 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:28 pm

[8] yup, I agree. Those Mets teams had no business giving the Braves as much trouble as they did those years. Of course part of that was the Braves tendency to spit the bit, but Bobby had a lot to do with it.

Lupica sucks, but he was dead-on when he called Bobby "Billy Martin without the drink in his hand"

10 matt b   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:30 pm

[8,9] The Martin analogies are great, except I always felt like Valentine was having more fun than Martin did. I don't think he's got as many demons chasing him.

I loved that Garrett Morris as Chico Esquela bit. I believe they sent Bill Murray to spring training to get reactions from Chico's former teammates to his tell-all book, "Bad Stuff 'Bout the Mets."

11 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2010 1:41 pm

The Marlins are the perfect team for Bobby because they're young enough where they'll (presumably) listen to him, they do have legitimate talent that he can play around with, and they're in a division that they probably can't win but they can at least be competitive in. A lot like the '97 Mets.

Of course the flipside is that I basically just described what Fredi Gonzalez did with them, he squeezed 84-87 wins out of a team that was probably more like a 74-78 win team. Bobby can match that, but I don't see him passing it with what he's gonna be given to work with.

But with Bobby, you're signing up not just for the wins but the soap opera that comes along with them. And in an apathetic market where you're bringing in 12,000 people a game you might as well turn up the volume a little bit.

12 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 24, 2010 2:04 pm

10) My dad wasn't on the show very long and SNL wasn't his kind of humor but I do remember him telling me all of the actors on the show were assholes but Murray.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 24, 2010 2:39 pm

[12] Doesn't it seem like you have to be that way in order to be on the show? I can only think of three others who didn't remind you of that a-hole mentality and remained popular; Tina Fey, Amy Pohler and Phil Hartman. Four if you include Chris Rock, who was barely a cast member in my opinion, and five if you beleve what you hear about Adam Sandler...

14 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2010 3:02 pm

[12, 13] from the original cast Belushi and Aykroyd were supposedly OK guys but had a little bit of a "too cool for the room" streak running through them. Chevy was just a dick.

Farley was supposed to be a total sweetheart but, obviously, very troubled and unpredictable. From the more recent casts I always thought Seth Meyers and Jason Sudekis seemed like good guys.

I have some friends who are involved in the improv scene downtown and, I dunno, the whole thing always came off as kinda elitist to me. People more concerned about getting scene points than honing their craft.

15 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 24, 2010 3:14 pm

Didn't Harry Shearer say that Billy Crystal is like the turd in the punchbowl?

16 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2010 4:05 pm

[15] I can see that, I thought he always seemed douchey. I saw his one man show when I was in college, I had to stand in the back through the entire first act because I got there right as the lights went down and couldn't go to my seat "because Mr. Crystal doesn't like distractions"...ok, calm down there John Barrymore.

17 Eric McCauley   ~  Jun 24, 2010 6:02 pm

[13] Love the first three, esp. Tina

[14] Chevy=dickhead. Agreed; never liked the guy.

[15] LOL. Glad I already drank the Coke.

The live stuff in NYC is good, but Second City has always been my favorite.

18 matt b   ~  Jun 24, 2010 8:46 pm

[10] Bartending buddy of mine had Bill Murray come into the bar a few months back and hang there all night. He said Murray was a really nice guy and a good tipper. (Not a chi-chi sorta joint, neither. )

I have another acquaintance who played golf with Murray and also found him to be down to earth and friendly. He ran into him again on the street in Manhattan about 8 months later and Murray remembered him and talked to him on the street for ten minutes, asking about his kids and so forth.

19 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 24, 2010 9:07 pm

I know an American businessman here who ran in the same circles as Bobby V did in Tokyo, the American Club, etc. (alas, Mr. OK Jazz is not in that income bracket..) He said Bobby was one of the smartest guys in a place filled with company presidents and academics..and was not shy about saying so! :)

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver