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ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 13: ESPN's Bobby Valentine standing in the dugout prior to the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California. NL defeated AL  3-1. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

bobby valentine

Bobby Valentine May Be the Next Red Sox Manager

It's only a matter of time before Bobby Valentine returns to managing. In the couple of years since he returned home from Japan, he's been a rumored candidate for about half a dozen managerial openings (including the Mets, for a moment there). He's engaged in all kinds of courtship again, and the word on the web is that the Red Sox consider him a front-runner for Terry Francona's old office. Valentine visited Boston yesterday, and sounds pretty thrilled about the prospect of working there:

“If I was Plan B and I got this job I would feel like it’s Christmas and I was Plan A, the luckiest guy in the world,” Valentine said. “It would be cool. It’s really kind of cool that I’m sitting here.”

The Sox have a lot of interviewing left to do, but it does sound, for the time being, like Valentine is the top pick for newly promoted GM Ben Cherington and company.

Mets fans (not to mention Red Sox fans and Yankees fans and Chiba Lotte Marines fans) likely have some conflicted feelings about the return of their former leader to major league baseball. Valentine didn't leave New York on very pleasant terms, having been at the center of several blown-up controversies, and he chafed repeatedly with Steve Phillips for several years. He did pilot those wacky millennial Mets through some exciting playoff runs, though, and still has his loyalists. One such loyalist resides at Amazin Avenue, and wrote an excellent, thorough piece urging Sox fans not to revolt. Great as the post is, it's not likely to deter a lot of them. Whether it's in Boston or not, Valentine will be back some time soon, and it's going to make some folks very upset. 

Photo: Michael Zagaris/2010 Michael Zagaris