Bobby Valentine Takes the Reigns in Boston

Terry Francona to ESPN, Bobby Valentine to the Red Sox. Who could have seen these two great coaches switching positions so quickly?

Valentine hasn’t managed in the Majors since 2002.

The Red Sox won the World Series in 2007.

How did this changing of the guard come to be?

Before Valentine was picked to be the 45th manager in the long history of the Boston Red Sox, they were picked as the preseason favorite to win the 2011 World Series. On paper, before the games were played, the Red Sox were the team to beat. Yet in Major League Baseball, even getting to the playoffs can be harder than expected. Playing in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, the Red Sox dropped 20 of their last 27 games, culminating in one of the largest collapses in baseball history. The Championship dreams were gone, and Terry Francona followed.

After an almost 2 month search for a manager, the Red Sox decided on ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine. He had reasonable success with the New York Mets, taking them to the NLCS in 1999 and losing in the World Series in 2000 to cross town rivals, the New York Yankees. After a disappointing year in 2002, Valentine was released and floated around managing in Japan before returning to America to work with ESPN. In the last year, Valentine was part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and received attention from the Florida Marlins front office for the managerial position before Ozzie Guillen was hired.

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