Bobby Valentine has many claims to fame. He loves wrap sandwiches -- so much so, he says he's the one who invented them. He loves to dress up in disguise, as he once did as manager of the Mets, when he donned a fake mustache and glasses and sat in the dugout after being ejected from a game. And he apparently loves to make cameo appearances in video reports, as he did this week at Fenway Park (above), when the Red Sox manager appeared behind the shoulder of The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy and shouted, "It's not true, I'm not trying to get fired, folks! It's not true! It's not true!"
Whether he is or he isn't, conventional wisdom seems to be indicating Valentine's tenure in Boston may not last much longer. And if that's the case, it would mark another claim to fame for one of sports' most polarizing figures -- for the first time in his managerial career, he would not last even one season; having managed the Texas Rangers for eight years and the Mets for seven.
This week's video rant has been the latest Valentine incident in a season full of them.
* In April, he got into a public feud with Kevin Youkilis, saying the popular third baseman wasn't "as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason." Youkilis, who said he was "surprised" and "confused" by Valentine's attack, was soon dealt to the White Sox. Valentine refused to let it go; in July, he told NESN, "The comment I made early, he made a big deal out of, and I don't think he ever wanted to get over it."
* Not long after that, Will Middlebrooks, Youkilis' replacement, had a rough inning in the field and made a couple of errors. Valentine greeted him to the dugout with, "Nice inning, kid." An unnamed person went to management to complain, and the incident probably would not even have been reported if Valentine did not mention it himself during a WEEI radio interview. Valentine went on to say he took Middlebrooks aside afterward and gave him a pep talk, and in a sarcastic tone, used words like "dreadful" and "mortally wounded" to describe the tone of the "unnamed person" who blew the whistle.
* In the wake of that incident, Valentine was taken to task by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who said on WEEI he would have "taken a swing" had Valentine made a similar remark to him, and added he thinks the Valentine era in Boston will end "like Mount Vesuvius." When introduced at Fenway Park upon being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame Saturday night, Schilling got a standing ovation.
* Last week, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona showed up in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium and held court with at least a half-dozen players. Valentine had no problem with that, but it underscores how Francona is still revered by the Red Sox -- and you can bet their relationship with Valentine came up in that conversation. For his part, Francona apologized to Valentine, who said it was "no big deal."
Schilling says none of this will end well, and actually spoke of Valentine's job in the past tense.
"Bobby is just unique -- he's different," Schilling told WEEI. "And he runs and beats to a different drummer. I just didn't think the matchup of players and this club and him was going to fit, it was going to work, and I don't think he ever got a chance from a lot of the guys ... I can't imagine given the personalities involved on all sides that this thing just kind of wanders away in the evening, especially with the fans here."
And if that's the way it goes down, Valentine will have another claim to fame, and plenty of time to conjure up new sandwiches.