Way back when, Bobby Valentine was considered the overwhelming favorite to replace Fredi Gonzalez in Florida. Something went wrong, and Valentine was dropped from consideration.
Recently - after his latest rejection by the appears to be setting its sights somewhere else.- Bobby Valentine became the favorite to replace Daren Brown in Seattle. But Seattle, like Florida,
In a sign thecould be closing in on their managerial decision, Bobby Valentine was informed today that he was not getting the job, according to sources.
This news is interesting, given the poll I just put up. Though it's early, more than 40% of people responded that they'd like to see the M's hire Valentine. Of the names we've heard, his is definitely the most popular.
And I think that was probably his big advantage. Among John Gibbons, Lloyd McClendon, Cecil Cooper, Daren Brown, and Eric Wedge, there isn't a single guy who gets fans excited. Bobby Valentine - for whatever reason - gets fans excited. Very few people have weak opinions of Bobby Valentine. Some people can't stand him, and other people - lots of other people - are in love with him. Bobby Valentine is America's favorite non-manager manager.
So if the Mariners were looking to stir some emotion in an emotionless fan base, Valentine could've worked. At least for a little while. He's a name. A very visible name. He would've gotten people talking about the Mariners again. Cecil Cooper won't get people talking about the Mariners. Lloyd McClendon won't get people talking about the Mariners. They'll come up, but they won't be conversation-starters. Those'll be names mentioned or alluded to in passing. "The Mariners hired some no-name retread." "Sounds about right."
Bobby Valentine would've gotten people more excited than any other candidate whose name we've heard. The Mariners have evidently decided that that isn't enough, and that Valentine's overall package isn't as appealing as somebody else's. Maybe it's about money. Maybe it's about power, or philosophies. I don't know. But it's interesting, as it would've been easy for the team to go with the popular pick, given their situation. That they aren't suggests that they'll believe very strongly in the guy they end up hiring.
This is a lousy break for all the Valentine fanboys out there. As far as the actual team is concerned, I haven't a clue how much this will matter.