We found this segment on Bobby Valentine from ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark's baseball preview piece noteworthy:
This felt like a tremendous marriage the day an emotional Bobby V was introduced to the media and the masses in Boston back on Dec. 1. But that day "seems like eight years ago now," Valentine said this spring.
"It was a good feeling," the manager reminisced. "I haven't had that feeling in a long time. So you enjoy it for a couple of minutes. Then reality sets in."
And that reality, it turns out, hasn't been quite so euphoric -- to the point that scouts covering the Red Sox are already worried about Valentine's fit for this job. Listen to the words of one scout who once worked with Bobby V in a prior incarnation:
"He's a brilliant baseball guy," the scout said. "It's just, the other stuff gets in the way of the brilliance so easily. … His intellect gets in the way. He's always trying to win that chess match. Everything has to be a tug o' war."
Valentine is so different from Terry Francona, everyone knew this mix could turn tense at some point. But "I just didn't think it would happen this fast," the same scout said.
"I hate to say it, but these players could stick it to him," he went on. "It'll be all or nothing. I don't think there can be anything in between with this bunch. If things don't start out all rosy, I worry that he could lose control of that club quickly. He's dealing with some high-maintenance guys. They proved that last year. And they're just not used to a guy who can be this honest. He's been The Story too much this spring. And these players could easily get tired of it."
We still think Bobby Valentine was the right choice for the Red Sox in this time and place. But we agree with the scouts who have warned us all spring: "This thing bears watching."
Are you worried that Valentine won't end up being be a good fit for the Red Sox? Why or why not? Vote in the poll above and sound off in the comments section.