After reports came out earlier tonight that Gene Lamont was no longer in the running to be Terry Francona's successor as manager of the Red Sox, it looks like Bobby Valentine will be hired to be the 45th manager in team history. For an introduction to who Valentine is as both a manager and as a person, read Tim Kurkjian's piece from ESPN.com.
Valentine has previously managed the Texas Rangers, New York Mets, and Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japan League. He guided the Mets to the National League pennant in 2000 and the Marines to a Japan League championship. For the last few years he has been a baseball analyst for ESPN.
He is known for his high baseball IQ as well as for his fiery temperment. Valentine will not have the patience with the media in Boston's intense market that Francona did and that is something to keep a close eye on. Where Francona would go out of his way to protect a player from media criticism, Valentine will be likely to call the player out in the press. I'm not sure either method is perfect, I'm just saying that things will be a lot different than they were the last eight years. It will be interesting to see how that effects the play of Dustin Pedroia, who was close with Francona.
Now that the Red Sox have their next manager, they can focus on putting together their team for 2012. Their corps of Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford is very good but they have many holes to fill. They need depth in the starting rotation, a right fielder, and help in the bullpen.
With Valentine aboard, they better find players who can deal with an intense manager.