UPDATE: Looks like today’s headline-creating comments might be Valentine’s last as a Red Sox employee. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that “upper management intends to remove Valentine as manager soon after the season ends.”
Bobby Valentine appeared on local radio in Boston this afternoon, which means Bobby Valentine said something that made headlines this afternoon. That’s just how it works at this point.
This time what happened is that WEEI host Glenn Ordway asked Valentine if his coaching staff has been loyal to him this season and the manager replied simply: “No.”
Ordway then asked if the coaching staff has tried to undermine him, to which Valentine said: “Yes.”
And then he went on to say:
I had to work through it all. Just another thing that’s part and parcel with the job. Work though it and try to make it better. That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional.
“That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional” coming from Bobby Valentine is maybe the funniest thing anyone has ever said.
Valentine later revealed that he’d like to make “some” changes to the coaching staff. If the Red Sox don’t fire him, of course.
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.