Bobby Valentine's Post Playing Career (Mets Coach - Manager & Analyst)

After Bobby Valentine's playing career ended in 1979, he became a highly sought-after coach.

Coach: In 19080 Valentine began his coaching career as a minor league infield instructor for the San Diego Padres (1980-1981). The Padres were the last team he had played for the previous year.

In 1982, the Mets hired the Stamford, Connecticut native, high school baseball star. Bobby served as the Mets minor league instructor. He was thrilled to be close to home & back with his old team in the New York metro area. 

In 1983, Bobby V. became the team’s third base coach. He would also handle the infielders and base-running instructions.

As a Mets coach he worked under three Mets managers; George Bamberger (1982) Frank Howard (1983) and Davey Johnson (1984).

Bobby quickly became a popular figure as a Mets coach, and a fan favorite. His coaching talents & baseball knowledge as well as a natural feel for the game, was recognized throughout the league. There was talk all over MLB for his potential as a future manager.

Manager: In 1985 the Texas Rangers gave him that opportunity, he got his first chance as a big-league manager, taking over for the fired Dave Rader. Valentine was only 35 years old when he began his managing career.  

In his first season he went 53-76 as the Rangers finished seventh. 

The next season, as the 1986 Mets were winning the World Series, Valentine came in second for the A.L. Manager-of-the-Year Award. He led the Rangers to an 87-75 second place record, 25 more victories from 1985. 

There were high hopes in the Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth area, for the Rangers. But his team fell to sixth place with losing record in both 1987 & 1988. He improved to fourth place in 1989 with an 83-79 record.

In the next two seasons Valentine brought Texas to two third second place finishes. In those seasons, Nolan Ryan headed the staff & pitched a no hitter each year, the sixth & seventh of his career. 

Trivia: Valentine was a teammate of Nolan Ryan from 1973-1975, witnessing four of his no hitters as a teammate. He then managed Ryan for his last two no hitters. This connects Bobby Valentine with six of Ryans seven no hitters as a teammate or manager.

These were tough years in the AL West, as the Oakland Athletics went to three straight World Series, winning one & the Minnesota Twins went to two others, winning a championship as well.

Valentine remained in Arlington, Texas through the 1992 season. Then the Rangers & team owner George W. Bush fired him, replacing him with former Ranger, Toby Harah. 

Trivia: Bobby Valentine is the winningest manager in Texas Rangers history with 581 wins under his belt.

After his stint as manager in Texas, he worked for the Cincinnati Reds as an advance scout the first part of the year. In May of 1993 he joined his old friend Davey Johnson now manager in Cincinnati, as the third base coach for the Reds

Norfolk Tides Manager: The following season he came back to the Mets organization, as the AAA Norfolk Tides manager. His club wen67-75 with a fourth-place finish.

After that he went to Japan to manage the 1995 Chiba Lotte Marines. He led the club to a second place finish, their best in twenty years. He returned to the AAA Norfolk Tides for the 1996 season taking them to another winning season (82-59).

Mets Manager: On August 26th, 1996 Bobby V replaced Dallas Green as the16th manager in New York Mets history. 

He started out losing his first four games. He would finish out the year with a 12-19 record, with the Mets finishing in fourth place. 

In 1997 he improved the Mets, to a third-place finish posting an 88-74 winning record, 17 more wins that the year before. 

Bobby turned the Mets around quickly and they soon became a contender in the NL East. He began to keep the players he wanted & used them in all the right spots, his way.

In 1998 he took the club one step further, although they finished with the same record, they were now in second place behind the Atlanta Braves.  

Valentine's managing in the late 1990s early 2000s gave the club a resurgence, getting them to the post season two straight seasons. That year the Mets acquired Al Leiter on the pitching staff. Then on May 22nd, they got Mike Piazza from the Marlins & everything got even better.

1999- Post Season Appearance: By 1999 the Mets added Robin Ventura & Armando Benitez as well. Valentine led his team to 97 wins (97-66- with a .595 %) the most the club had won since 1988, when they won 100 games. 

The Mets ended the season tying for the wild card spot. They lost a coin toss for home field advantage & Mets played a one game tie breaker in Cincinnati vs. the Reds. Al Leiter pitched one of his best Mets games, shutting out the Reds 5-0. The Mets won the game & advanced to the post season for the first time in 11 seasons.

In the NLDS, Valentine's Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS three games to one. The series ended with Todd Pratt's dramatic walk off HR. 

In the NLCS the Mets were stopped by the Atlanta Braves in six games.

Trivia: Valentine is infamous for an incident during a 1999 game where he had been thrown out of a game after arguing with an umpire. 

He was soon spotted sitting in the Mets dugout wearing a disguise, with a change of clothes, sunglasses on, and a mustache painted on with eye black.

2000 Pennant Season: In 2000 the Mets won 94 games and another wild card berth. It was the first time in their history the team made the post season in consecutive seasons. 

In the NLDS the Mets beat the San Francisco Giants in five games and then beat the St. Louis Cardinals in six games of the NLCS. 

The 2000 National League Champions won the team's first Pennant in twelve years. They would play the cross town AL New York club for the first subway World Series since 1956.

Although they lost the Subway World Series, Valentine deserves huge credit for even taking the Mets that far. The outfield didn't have any power hitters, the most HRs by a 2000 Met outfielder was Jay Payton's 17. 

His 2000 Mets were sixth overall in NL with 198 HRs. They were second in walks (675) & fifth in on base % (.346). Those were their best offensive stats against the league.

In pitching, his relief staff was second in saves (49), which is why he had so much faith in Armando Benitez. A bullpen of Turk Wendell, John Franco, Dennis Cook, Rick White & Pat Mahomes were used perfectly & made up a fine relief corps.

As for the starters, Mets were fourth in wins (94) third in team ERA (4.13) as well as being among the top three in almost all pitching categories.

He managed to get the most out of what he had to work with. Although his style was considered very controversial, at times it was overall a success.

After the pennant, the Mets did not sign any free agents, letting Alex Rodriguez go to the cross-town rivals. Without any new major additions, the 2001 Mets struggled through the year. But in September the club had new life & competed for the wild card race but fell short. They would finish 82-80, six games behind the Braves.

On July 12th, 2001 Valentine notched his 1,000th managerial victory in a 2-0 win vs. the Boston Red Sox. He became the 48th manager in major league history to reach the 1,000-win plateau.

911: Following the 911 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001, the parking lot at Shea was turned into a rescue station. Bobby Valentine & some Mets players helped distribute Food, supplies and medical equipment.

He & the team wore caps in honor of the police, fire and emergency service departments. 

The Mets hosted the first professional sporting event in New York City after the September 11th attacks, a game between the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium.

The Mets had a gala event for New York honoring the victims, their families & the rescue workers involved. The now legendary game featured Mike Piazza hitting a two-run HR in the 8th inning, to lift the Mets & New York City to a 3-2 victory. It remains one of the Mets 
greatest moments in team history.

Drama: In 2002, while on his way to the ball park & listening to the radio, Bobby V. learned that Mets General Manager Steve Phillips, had fired Valentine's coaching staff. Bobby was shocked and appalled that it was done without his knowledge.

This was the continuation of Steve Phillips ruining the Mets team and running it into the ground. Bobby V. was fired in 2003 after Phillip’s free agent signings of Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn & Jeremy Burnitz were all failures.

Mets Managing Career:
 In six seasons, as Mets Manager (1996-2002) Valentine compiled a 536-467 record, with a .553 winning percentage (third best as a Mets manager). He is third behind Davey Johnson & Terry Collins for most wins as a
 Mets Manager (595). 

Celebrity in Japan: Valentine served one season as an analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Then he went back to manage in Japan where he was & is treated like a rock star.

There he is a known National Celebrity that has a beer & a hamburger named after him. He brought innovative promotions to the fans there, like hosting dance lessons for female fans, autograph shows & letting kids run the bases.

Valentine served his second stint as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines from 2004—2009.

In 2005 he led the Marines to their first pennant in 31 years & a Japan Series four game sweep over the Hanshin Tigers. He then led his team to the Asia Series Championship over the Samsung Lions of Korea. He asked for a series to play the winner of the MLB World Series but that never came to pass.

In 2005, he led the Marines to the Pacific League pennant & in 2006 the Japan Series championship. However, he was eventually fired in 2009 due to the personal conflict with the general manager, despite getting huge fan support.

Broadcaster & Analyst: It was in 1989 that he began his work as a broadcaster analyst. He worked along with Bob Costas & Tony Kubek for coverage of the ALCS between the A's & Blue Jays. Valentine then went to work the Sunday Night Baseball telecasts as an analyst for ESPN. He worked alongside Orel Hershiser & Dan Shulman for the 2010 & 2011 seasons. 

SNY: At the end of Spring Training 2013 the Mets announced Bobby V. would join the studio team at SNY. He continued in that part time role for five years. Valentine was a popular SNY analyst during the Mets 2015 post season run, as they got to their first World Series since Valentines team did it in 2000. He returned in 2016 & 2017 popping in from time to time as a studio analyst.

In 2022 he was named as a pregame & post game analyst on certain Los Angeles Angels broadcasts.

Red Sox Manager: In 2012 he was named manager of the Boston Red Sox after their 2011 collapse & the firing of manager Terry Francona. He chose to wear the #25, in honor of the late Tony Conigliaro whom he roomed with in 1976 while with the San Diego Padres.

Valentines days in Boston did not turn out too well. The club finished 69-93 the teams worst record in 47 years. The Sox suffered injuries, in house & public fighting with players as well as his coaches.

Honors: Bobby was inducted to the Italian American Hall of Fame in Chicago in 2003. He has won multiple humanitarian & good guy awards, as well as honors for charitable works including the golden key to New York City after 911.

Valentine is the Stamford Director of Public Safety. 

Restaurant: Outside of his coaching job, Valentine also owns Bobby V's, a decades-old sports bar with locations in Stamford, (where he still keeps his residence when not managing) in Japan and in Arlington, Texas. While he was manager of the Mets there was a location across from Shea Stadium in the Ramada Hotel.

The place was loaded with memorabilia on the walls and tables laminated with old baseball cards. He claims to have invented the wrap sandwich. 

Trivia: Valentine, the Restaurateur, claims that his restaurant was the first anywhere to serve a sandwich in a tortilla wrap. Valentine made this claim while his restaurant was showcased on Food Network.

Since 2003, Valentine has held an annual "Bobby Valentine Celebrity Wine & Food Experience", a charity fundraising event featuring food from lower Fairfield County, Connecticut restaurants and a selection of wines. Valentine acts as the master of ceremonies and celebrities and sports personalities appear at the event.

Bobby’s sports academy is located in Stamford, Connecticut and is one of the premier sports training facilities in the North East. Bobby designs all the drills that are taught for children of all ages. 

with Father In Law- former Brooklyn Dodger Ralph Branca
In 2013 he became Athletic Director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. In 2016 because of all his accomplishments in that role he was awarded the ECAC Administrator of the year.

He also has served on the Board of the following charitable organizations: The Mickey Lione, Jr. Fund for Scholastic Excellence, The Frisbee Foundation, The Western CT Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis, and Honorary Chairman for Swim across the Sound, and the Tully Health Center, Stamford, CT. 

In 2021 he was considered an ambassador to Japan by President Donald Trump. In 2021 he ran for Mayor of Stamford but lost out to the first female mayor of that town.

Family: Valentine's father-in-law was former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, An excellent pitcher who became infamous for giving up the classic pennant-winning home run to Bobby Thomson in 1951.

Bobby & his wife Mary were married since the early 1980's & have one son. They separated in 2011 & were divorced ten years later.

Since 2007 he has been involved in a relationship with Junko Ogino.

Trivia: Bobby is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He also is a ballroom dancer.


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