Championships usually bring out the best in people.
Then there's Bobby Valentine.
Valentine led the Red Sox to their worst season in 47 years in 2012, a 69-93 train wreck that left the team in shambles but eventually triggered a transformation into these 2013 champions.
"Those are different teams. There's no way I could have done this with last year's team, no way," he said. "We weren't very good. Last year when the season ended, Pedro Ciriaco was my cleanup hitter. Was that the type of team you saw last night on television?"
It was very astute observation but not quite 100 percent accurate. Ciriaco was in the Red Sox lineup for their final game of 2012, a 14-2 loss to the Yankees, but it was the cheerful Cody Ross who batted clean up. Ciriaco batted eighth that night and the night before. But don't be too hard on Valentine if he can't exactly remember his lineup on the final day of last season, considering he more or less gave up on the team sometime around Labor Day.
Valentine told Patrick he was "rooting for the good guys and they won" in the World Series.
Valentine said the biggest difference between this year's team and last year's team was "about 13 new guys, a lot of beards, a real quality bullpen and clutch hitting."
Oh, and 39 wins, an A.L East title, American League pennant and World Series ring.
But who's counting.
Valentine said the team chemistry on Team Chemistry came as a result of Boston's success and was not necessarily a reason for it. "Winning usually brings the best out of people and sometimes losing brings the worst. We weren't winning too much and it didn't look good. That's why so many changes were made," he said. "When you bring in so many new guys, you'd think you'd have some problems. The guys who were left there knew it was no fun doing it on different pages. Dustin [Pedroia], David [Ortiz], Jon [Lester] and Clay [Buchholz] brought those guys under their wings and they came together."
Apparently, the new manager and Ben Cherington's ability to assess talent had nothing to do with it.
Valentine deferred when asked if it was tough to watch Boston's worst-to-first magnificent title run. "Well, whatever, it's another day. You learn after 43 years that if you root against anyone you waste a lot of time."
So much for the "good guys" winning, huh.
He said it was a mistake to purposely walk Ortiz. "That's what happens when you walk someone, you lose 6-1." He also said
Big Papi Cooperstown deserves a spot in Cooperstown and not just for his spectacular numbers in the post season. "He's the best at his position [DH] in history. You need to take the best player at each position and have him in the Hall of Fame. You have to recognize the position. It has been around for 40 years."
Valentine is the athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., which is just a few miles down I-95 from the location of Patrick's studios in Milford, and doesn't expect another managing job any time soon.
"Do you have a job to offer?" he asked Patrick. "There are 31 teams at Sacred Heart University, all Division I[-A] and none of them think I can coach them."
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