Boston and Bobby, Like Oil and Water
It’s going to take more than a nice tan and impressive cardio endurance to become attractive in the eyes of Boston fans. Yes, I am referring to the Red Sox’s General Manager, Bobby’s Valentine’s sun-kissed complexion and his claim to fame of biking 6 miles a day. A persona that is not commonly associated with the macho tough sports town, and ESPN and blogs all over have made note of it.
In no way am I suggesting Valentine isn’t cut out for the job. He has a respectable track record as being GM at both the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers, not to mention nearly forty years of experience under his ball cap. He could very well be the answer for the Red Sox and lead a winning season. The real question here is, can he win over Boston?
All through April the media has been having a field day with Valentine, sound byte after sound byte; the guy likes to talk.There was the controversial comment about Boston’s beloved third basemen, Kevin Youkilis, right after Massachusetts’s Patriot’s Day game.
"'I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," said Valentine on WHDH's Sports Xtra show on that Sunday night, via the Boston Globe.
Adding a loss to the comment is even worse. Getting spanked by the New York Yankees after being nine runs up on Fenway’s 100th Day Celebration -- now well, I’ll let the Twitter feed from that night speak for itself…
The truth of the matter is, whoever was taking the position as General Manger this year was expected to take some heat, as public relations professionals, we know this all too well. In every political party, business or organization and of course, sports, there is an escape goat. Ultimately, it will take wins to clear a name, but there are ways to minimize the scrutiny in the process. Valentine should have followed through with some of the public image basics:
1. The obvious, never call out one of your own. I believe Valentine's intentions were good. He is a coach and coaches are suppose to critique, but leave it for the locker room. When dealing with the press, it is NEVER good to call out a peer, employee, or third basemen, especially one that is adored in the public eye. Transparency works, but never share internal information that hasn't been thought through.
2. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I understand Valentine is there to do a job and some would say forget the media and play, which is true. But let's face it, this is a business and if you want to be the face of one, having an image of being appreciated by your employees, players, fans and investors is NEVER overrated. Background media interviews beforehand, where he could have demonstrated his knowledge and appreciation for Boston culture and the Red Sox, would have been beneficial.
3. Get with the times and Tweet something! Bobby Valentine's Twitter handle say's hes an analyst and hasn't been updated since August. A lot has changed since then, wouldn't you say? He hasn't even taken the time to brand him self as a Sox. As you can tell from the public Twitter feed, there is been plenty of backlash going viral. A few tweets coming from Bobby Valentine personally, could have helped him through the criticism.
Well what do you think? Has Valentine been digging his own grave? Or is it really out of his hands? Maybe it's too early in the season to tell or maybe it’s time to hire some public relations back up.