Bobby V. talks on a variety of topics
Bobby Valentine had no shortage of energy or opinions in a half-hour session with the media at today’s Winter Meetings.
Daniel Bard’s role for next year?
“Well, Daniel Bard is an extremely talented pitcher from everything I’ve been watching on video, things I’ve seen statistically and everything that I’ve watched on television or live. Electric stuff. And talking to him on the phone, he seems like the guy everybody wants. I’ll do what’s right for the team. If you need me to close, I’ll close. If you need me to start, I’ll start. That’s the greatest thing in the world, and it could also be the worst thing in the world because I don’t think it’s fair to him to put him in that position. That being said, we’re going to put him in that position, and we’re going to see how things come to pass as the winter meetings close, as the winter goes on, as we add to our roster, and as Spring Training develops. I wish I had a good answer. I know he’s a real talented pitcher.”
Do the Red Sox need to get into better shape?
“Well, again, I’ve taken a lot of my knowledge from other sources, so it’s not firsthand knowledge. But I’ve met with trainers and all the front office staff. I’ve read everything I think you guys have had to write about the Red Sox because I’ve been able to do that on planes. It seems like they let it get away or some of the guys let it get away. I think they understand that. I’m not going to have to have them do extra sprints in Spring Training. I think that these are great athletes, world‑class athletes, mature adults who get it and understand.
“After talking to some of them on the phone and leaving other messages, I’m sure that if they didn’t agree with the message or didn’t agree with the conversation, they would say, everything was perfect and we’re just going to do it again the same thing. I don’t think anyone thinks that’s the way it’s going to happen.”
Batting orders? Would he like to keep Carl Crawford in one spot?
” You know, when I talked to Adrian, he mentioned how hitting in one spot in the order wasn’t important to him. And so different guys have different strokes. But I can tell you that in the thousands of games that I’ve managed, I never made out a lineup card thinking about one guy. It’s always about the group and how you fit in kind of together for the whole lineup. Hell’s bells, I’d love to have one lineup and use it for 162 games, but it’s more than likely I’ll use 162 lineups than one lineup. So there’s going to be lots of moving parts. I’ll talk to Carl about that.
“If someone has a thing ‑‑ I remember when Mike Piazza came to the Mets, and he said, I can’t hit unless I’m batting third, and he batted fourth and had some of the greatest years of his life playing for the Mets. Sometimes they get over it.”
Thoughts on Yu Darvish?
“I have no idea if his talents will translate at the Major League level if he came here, but he’s a quality pitcher. He has size, quality, velocity, breaking balls, very good hands. He makes the ball do a lot of crazy things on its way to the plate. Great competitor. If those things translate into another uniform, whether it’s another uniform in Japan, who knows, if he leaves a free agent next year or whatever.”