In his two previous managerial stops in the major leagues and during two stints in Japan, Bobby Valentine did a great job of quickly turning around franchises that had fallen on hard times.
Take a look the highlights of his previous managerial stints:
Texas Rangers, 1985-1992 (age 35-42)
Valentine replaced the fired Doug Rader in 1985 only 32 games into another doomed season for Texas, which would finish last in the seven-team AL West for the second straight year. By 1986, however, Valentine had his preferred players in place, jettisoning veterans such as Buddy Bell, Frank Tanana, and Burt Hooton along the way.
The average player age dropped from 29 to 26 in ‘86. Young sluggers Ruben Sierra, Pete Incaviglia, and Steve Buechele beefed up an offense than jumped from 129 home runs to 184. Valentine turned to young starters Bobby Witt, Edwin Correa, and Jose Guzman and they combined to win 32 games. And a revamped bullpen that included newcomers Mitch Williams, Jeff Russell, and Dale Mohorcic helped the pitching staff shave nearly a half-run off its team ERA from the previous season (from 4.56 to 4.11).
Stuck at 24-24, the Rangers won seven straight games and 10 of 11 to build a 41⁄2-game division lead in June. They fell out of first place by the All-Star break but stayed in the hunt into late August, eventually finishing second with 87 wins, which was tied for second most in franchise history.
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