Bobby Valentine is coming home, y'all! At least that's what I can deduce from his sad blog post in which he issues a teary goodbye to Chiba Lotte Marines fans. In his six years at the helm of the Marines during his second stint in Japan, Valentine led the team in 2005 to their first Japan Series win since 1974. Shame that just four years later, Bobby's Marines are among the worst teams in the Pacific League.
Add that to the fact that team ownership declared before the season even started that they could no longer afford to keep both Valentine as manager and supply the clubhouse with delicious uni on a daily basis, so Valentine was probably going to be jobless at the end of the year regardless of how poorly his team performed or how many comical moustaches he donned in the dugout.
But all of this is great news for you American teams currently employing an interim dude and/or a laid-back pre-op tranny in the position of manager. Bobby's probably coming home to get a new managing gig! If anything, he'll want to get back to the U-S-and-A to be closer to his mediocre Stamford, CT sports bar with a menu that hasn't changed since 1985. Really? I can get potato skins? Who knew?
So let's run down the possible destinations for Bobby V, and rank them in order of least likely to most likely:
- 5. Yankees - Sure, they have the second best record in the bigs but are one bad week away from being sunk in the miasma of the A.L. Wild Card race. Gasp! If Joe Girardi fails to make the playoffs a second year in a row, expect his head to roll and the Steinbrenner Bros. to get a chubby thinking of how Bobby V. would inspire their all-star lineup with...well, whatever it is Bobby V. does to inspire players. This may include spankings.
- 4. Astros - Cecil Cooper is not long for this world. The Astros were supposed to contend this year, despite the smarter heads who knew they'd flop on their face come deadline time. No matter, Drayton McLane is not about to experiment with an unknown quantity again and should look to replace C.C. with an experienced, smart manager. Which will make everyone wonder why they end up hiring Clint Hurdle.
- 3. Rockies - Speaking of Clint Hurdle, his old team is winning games with the new guy Jim Tracy in charge. But keeping an interim manager around for longer than a half-season is so gauche. Instead, the Rockies will hire Bobby V. to bring his Eastern intrigue to the Colorado clubhouse along with two pallets of Asahi beer and veteran pitcher Hiroyuki Kobayashi. He loves the granola-crunching hippies.
- 2. Nationals - Jim Riggleman just wasn't made for these times. And the Lerner family is said to be so enamored of Bobby Valentine that they named their new golden retriever puppy "Turkey Wrap", after Bobby's famed invention. For a team with severe attendance problems and made up of scrappy youngsters, the self-satisfied fame whore that is Valentine would be a perfect fit. That is, unless Bobby is snapped up by the...
- 1. Mets - Bobby Valentine and the Mets go together like almond butter and lima beans. Make this happen, Wilpons. People who like schadenfreude need it.
Okay geniuses, where do you think Bobby Valentine will end up in 2010?