The announcement on Wednesday that Bobby Valentine would be doing a weekly radio show appearance in, of all places, New York, on ESPN-1050 with Yankees announcer Michael Kay was met with a lot of outcry, both among fans and members of the Boston sports media.
Here is just one example:
It's beyond ridiculous and incomprehensible that Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will do a weekly hit with 1050 ESPN radio New York— Jen Royle (@Jen_Royle) April 4, 2012
While I'm not a fan of many of things Bobby Valentine has been doing this spring, (mostly off the field) and it's a bit annoying that he'll be making these weekly appearances in Yankee country, I don't see how it is "beyond ridiculous and incomprehensible" that he would do this.
Let me restate the first part of that. I think it is annoying that he'll be doing a weekly spot in New York. As a Red Sox fan I'm not thrilled with the idea of Valentine saying something inflammatory about the Yankees, or starting some controversy that gets completely blown out of control. Those are possibilities.
On the other hand, some people insist that this can be compared to a disaster that cost hundreds of people their lives.
Michael Kay radio show? Titanic now in open water at full speed!— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) April 5, 2012
Great analogy, Curt. We already know Schilling is loyal to Terry Francona, so anything he says about the new manager has to be viewed in that context.
Let me say yet again. I hate, HATE that I'm being placed in the position of somehow being a Bobby Valentine defender. However, his doing a short, weekly (the first interview lasted 12 minutes) spot on a New York station is not quite the crime against humanity it is being played out to be. The first session with Kay was very straightforward, simply answering questions about the team, Schilling's name came up, and Valentine declined to talk about it, and said he had no interest in talking to Schilling about his comments.
It's a coup for ESPN 1050 to land Valentine. He's got plenty of New York in him, and believe it or not, there are Red Sox fans there as well - just as there are plenty of Yankees fans in Boston. His appearances will be monitored, not just by listeners in New York, but now also by the entire Red Sox media corps, who will be tuning in to hear what he says.
The real issue here for the disgruntled Boston media folks is laid out by Royle here:
@toeingtherubber I understand. But now the NY media will have info before the Boston media. work-wise its a big deal & it's just not right— Jen Royle (@Jen_Royle) April 4, 2012
This is a pretty hollow protest. The show is aired live, and streamed over the internet. All media (and fans) who tune it will get any information at the exact same time. The real issue is the little bit of extra effort that will be needed to tune into the show and monitor it for any new information - which is unlikely to occur anyway, as most issues will have already been addressed with the media here.
For Valentine there are benefits as well. As Sean McAdam astutely pointed out on the Toucher and Rich show shortly after word came out about this arrangement, Valentine is likely not here for the long term. He has a two year contract, and it's possible he doesn't even go beyond this season. It's likely he will return to a media gig once he's gone managing the Red Sox and he's keeping his pipelines and connections open. He's staying in the eye of the New York market.
There are benefits to both sides here, making it hardly a "beyond ridiculous and incomprehensible" arrangement.
And for those who say it is silly for the Red Sox manager to be doing a spot in New York, and how it wouldn't happen here, don't you think WEEI or 98.5 would LOVE to have a weekly spot with Rex Ryan? Of course they would.
We don't have to like it, but this is the sports media world we reside in.