Sports Briefs: Valentine's Day

Chris: As Major League Baseball teams are wont to do, promotional giveaways are often clever puns tied to a certain player or manager. The Giants gave away a bearded gnome who looked as if he shared a razor with Brian Wilson. Rich Garces’ employers were resigned to creating a bobble-belly doll of him. And after utilizing an employment agency to fill their managerial position this offseason, I would expect the Boston Red Sox to give away Bobby Valentine glasses and mustache disguises to patrons this season, assuming Groucho Marx has not pilfered them all.

Ralphie: I think Valentine may be what the Red Sox need to come back and be great again.

Joe: Hiring Valentine is the same old story--let's not take a chance on a new, fresh approach (like the Cardinals did with Matheny); let’s just put on the same old retread and hope something sticks.

Brad: Valentine has the experience to manage and turn around the team, but he has a big mouth and a huge ego. After having been a player, then managing, he knows both sides of the game. He has experience with struggling teams, so he could be what the Red Sox need.

Chris: After helping the Rangers gain respectability, leading the Mets to the World Series and expanding his horizons in Asia, Valentine brings a lot to the table for any ball club . . . mainly wraps. Bobby V’s is still making diners happy in Arlington, Texas, and after being unable to seduce customers in New York and Japan with his culinary opuses, Valentine must have heard convincing scuttlebutt that Boston residents are fond of his sandwich-like invention.

Ralphie: He seems like a lot of fun. I think he is going to do a good job for the Red Sox.

Brad: It's not a good image to put out there for himself or the team, but he could use it to his advantage to motivate players.

Joe: Immature comments about other players or teams belie Valentine’s hipness. He's just getting old and senile.

Chris: If Valentine ever decides to reprise his old role of “mustached and bespectacled stranger in the home team’s dugout,” he will have to invest in white facial hair and hope no one confuses him for a descendant of Colonel Sanders.

Brad: I would like to see a more professional attitude from him. The team needs good leadership all around. I think he can bring this team together and make for a good season.

Joe: Valentine's comments shouldn't affect any team or player, provided that they are true professionals (well, that's a whole different article).

Ralphie: I think they may make the Yankees mad, and they might play them harder. They may make the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox even bigger.

Brad: It could go either way. If he acts like he believes those words, then it could have a negative impact on player relations and productivity, but if he laughs it off as he made a one-time mistake of words, then it could motivate the teams to play their best. To prove him wrong.

Chris: I heard Valentine was thinking about naming one of his pot pies after Alex Rodriguez, since it has a soft and flaky crust.

Ralphie: Well, I like the Yankees, so I don’t like that he said that.

Joe: Valentine's had his 15 minutes. Grow up and move on, Boston.

Brad: They at least will do better than last season.

Ralphie: I think we will see some real improvement in the Red Sox this year. I don’t think they’ll be champions or anything, but I do think they’ll be better than they were last season.

Joe: Red Sox will not make the playoffs--even if the liquor cabinet is locked.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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