UPDATE: He’s back. Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston confirms that Bobby Valentine will indeed be the next manager of the Red Sox.
Valentine was offered the job while he was away on personal business in Japan and immediately accepted. He is expected to fly back home tomorrow while CSNNE.com reports that he will likely be introduced as Boston’s new skipper during a press conference Thursday.
Valentine, now 61 years old, hasn’t managed in the majors since 2002. He has a 1117-1072 record (.510) over 15 seasons between the Rangers and Mets.
While Valentine has his fair share of critics (and enemies) around the game, baseball is more fun with him in the dugout. Or at least more interesting. And with the Red Sox still reeling from one of the worst collapses in baseball history, this will be a fascinating situation to watch.
7:13 PM: Nothing official from the team yet, but Mike Lynch of WCVB-TV in Boston is reporting that the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine have reached a “verbal agreement” for him to be the team’s next manager.
We have heard conflicting reports this afternoon about whether Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont is still in the mix for the job. As of this evening, Lamont was told that he is still a candidate.
Valentine is expected to return from Japan tomorrow, so we’ll likely hear something official in the next 24 hours.
Major League Baseball and Fox won’t openly root for any specific team to make the World Series. But you can bet they’re pretty happy with the Cubs making it thanks to the ratings they’re delivering.
The Indians win over the Chicago in Game 1 last night drew a 12.6 overnight rating. That means, on average, 12.6 percent of the TVs in the largest 56 markets were tuned in to the game. That’s the best World Series first game rating since 2009 when the Phillies-Yankees game drew a 13.8 overnight rating. Last night’s rating was up 20% from last year’s 10.5 between the Royals-Mets and up 58% from the Giants-Royals in 2014.
Now the rooting, however quiet it may be, will continue: for the Cubs to make a series out of this so as to keep the magic numbers coming.
Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine has been hired as the Twins’ next General Manager. It has not been made official, but multiple outlets are reporting the hire. Levine will join Derek Falvey, who was named the Twins’ new president of baseball operations last month.
Levine has been the Rangers assistant GM since the 2005 season, working as GM Jon Daniels’ second in command. He’ll still be second in command in Minnesota, but with an elevated title as is the style of the day. He previously worked with the Rockies. He has, according to various reports, been conversant in statistical analysis as well as traditional scouting and player development. As is also the style of the day.