Lasorda thinks Valentine a great hire for Sox
Tommy Lasorda has always had a close mentor/protege relationship with Bobby Valentine, so it’s no surprise that the Hall of Fame manager thinks the Red Sox got the right man to manage them.
Lasorda is here at the Winter Meetings in Dallas as part of the committee that selected Ron Santo as the newest Baseball Hall of Famer.
“I’ve seen him plan for a game. I’ve never seen many managers do that. He can plan for that game as good as any manager I’ve ever seen,” Lasorda said of Valentine.
And Lasorda and Valentine have always shared an energy component.
“He’s got a lot of enthusiasm. What he’s got to do is get that team to play for the name on the front of their shirt and not the name on the back of theire shiret. If he can do that, he’ll be successful,” Lasorda said.
Lasorda has little doubt that Valentine can unify the Red Sox.
“That’s the ability that the manager has to have, to be able to put them all together. You have to get them all on one end of a rope and pull together. If you can do that, you’re going to have success. if half get on one end and and half get on the other end, you can do that all day long and all you’re doing is pulling against yourself. You have to take 25 guys and you have to make them believe that they’re the best in baseball and he can do that.”
Lasorda surmises that Valentine could have returned to the managers long ago, but was waiting for the right landing spot.
“Here’s a place he wanted to come. He could have been with a few other clubs, I know that. He didn’t want to be there. He wants to be here in boston the minute he got a chance to manage boston, he grabbed it real fast. He loves boston. There’s a lot of Italians in Boston and he’ll get along real well in the city.”
Lasorda also thinks it’s unfair to mention the decline of the Mets at the end of Valentine’s tenure. “I brought our team to the World Series one year and the next year it didn’t work out.”
Valentine has already sought out Lasorda since being named Boston’s manager last week.
“Well I’ve already given him some [advice]. Just a conversation,” said Lasorda. “He wants to know how I feel. We talked. He played for me. He was one of my favorite players. He played for me in the Rookie League. He played for me in Triple-A. He played for me in the Dominican Republic. He asks me questions at all times.”