What value does a manager add or subtract from a team? That's a question that, as of now, is impossible to answer definitively. Perhaps a good manager can add five or ten wins to a well-assembled team while a bad manager might subtract the same amount. But outside of smartly managing a bullpen and inspiring his men to reach their full potential, what can a team's skipper actually do to help or hinder?
Maybe a manager's best ability is to deflect criticism of their team by acting like a complete megalomaniacal boob. Think Tony La Russa and his quixotic campaigns against Twitter. Think Joe Maddon and his stand against poor Rays fans. These guys are A++++ personalities with a great ability to play into the hands of the media and write headlines with their nutty actions. What better way to protect a slumping superstar than by doing something completely ridiculous! Maybe that's why Joe Girardi got braces.
That's where professional leader of men Bobby Valentine comes in. When a managerial job gets posted in baseball, or even sometimes while the current guy is still toasting his rear end on the hot seat, Bobby Valentine's name gets bandied about by ignominious bloggers desperate to see this delusional manic personality brought back into MLB (preferably not on their favorite team, ahem).
Bobby V has already lost out on the Orioles job to fellow TV analyst Buck Showalter. And although Valentine was considered for the Marlins job during the season, it turns out the team has come to its senses and won't even interview the guy after the season expires.
Perhaps the Mariners will consider him in the offseason to fill their managerial opening. Or perhaps the Cubs will throw big bucks at Bobby when Joe Girardi decides he'd rather work for the experienced Steinbrenners than the naive Rickettses. But the true potential for comedic value cannot be reached unless one series of events comes to pass: the Mets must fire Jerry Manuel (and, probably, Omar Minaya) and rehire Bobby Valentine to manage the team. I cannot endorse this enough. No human being in the world can possibly deflect criticism of Carlos Beltran quite like Bobby Valentine. No other media market in the world besides New York City can possibly provide the coverage that a man of Bobby Valentine's comedic stature desperately needs.
On a related note, I regret to inform our readers that my plans to visit and review Bobby Valentine's Sports Gallery Cafe in Stamford, CT yesterday failed miserably. Somewhat surprisingly, I wasn't the only one showing up at 1PM on a Sunday to watch an Eagles football game. The bar was packed to the gills so we were forced to walk across the street to a different place that served buffalo wings and jalapeno poppers.
Worry not: before my bi-weekly vacations to Stamford are expired, I promise you, dear reader, that I will visit Bobby V's and consume the original wrap sandwich, the Club Mex. I can do no less.