Top Nine Memorable Bobby V Moments
By Lou DiPietro
Even before the events of his first season at the helm of the Boston Red Sox, Bobby Valentine has always been one of the most polarizing personalities in Major League Baseball. Sure, he’s feuded with everyone from the media to his opponents to even perhaps his own players, but love him or hate him, Bobby V is always good for a light moment now and again.
As the Yankees are in the midst of their final visit to Boston this season, we here at The Niner wanted to take a look back at some of those lighter moments of Bobby V’s baseball lifetime to remind everyone that while a baseball game may last but a few hours, great personalities last forever.
HEY, BEER MAN!
After Bobby V led the Chiba Lotte Marines to the Pacific League title in 2005, Japan's Sapporo Brewing Company honored him with a special batch of "BoBeer" sold only in Chiba. Sources tell us it was tasty, but had disastrous results when eaten with certain poultry dishes.
THAT'S A WRAP
Bobby V's Sports Gallery Café is just a few miles from Niner HQ in Stamford, CT, and if you believe Mr. Valentine, he invented the wrap there in 1980 thanks to a broken toaster. Dubious claim or not, that's one kitchen nightmare that's still working out worldwide more than 30 years later.
When asked about his ejection from a June 1997 game by umpire Mark Hirschbeck, then-Mets manager Valentine insisted he had been feeling ill all day and quipped that "I think I might have gotten a little too close to Mark after I threw up."
PASS THE VISINE
Back in 2002, rumors were rampant of widespread drug use among Bobby V's Mets - reports he responded to by uttering the famous quote, "I grew up in the '60s. I think I could tell by looking in a guy's eyes if he was smoking dope."
MANAGING BY THE BOOK
After taking a ton of heat in early 2000 for "overusing" his Mets bullpen, Bobby V whipped out a four-page manifesto prior to their June 23 game to show how he had actually used the 'pen less than in 1999 ... and 24 hours later, he watched his starter, Rick Reed, last all of three innings. Oops!
METS, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE
What started as a lecture on the economics of baseball at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 ended up as Bobby V spending 90 minutes burying the Mets organization in a diatribe so bad, he reportedly asked the school to destroy the tapes. Who says Philly fans are the nasty ones?
2012 has been a rough year for Bobby, but before he even managed a game in Boston, he rankled his team's biggest rivals in February by calling out A-Rod and criticizing Derek Jeter's famed 2001 "flip play." The Captain's response? "(Valentine) must be bored over there, huh?"
MEET MY EVIL TWIN, ROBBY
Baseball fans surely remember it well: June 9, 1999, the day Bobby V circumvented a 12th-inning ejection by returning to the dugout wearing glasses and a fake mustache. Sure, the Groucho Marx impression cost him five large and a two-game suspension, but at least his Mets won that day.
Okay, we've had some fun at Bobby V's expense in this space, but to tell you what kind of man Bobby truly is, we'd need a much bigger space than this just to describe how he and his Mets did whatever they could - both on the field and off - to help New York City heal after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.