Bobby Valentine spent parts of eight seasons as manager of the Texas Rangers, six-plus seasons with the New York Mets, then six years with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.
In the impatient world of baseball, those are long tenures. But on all three occasions, he left unwillingly, and twice under a cloud of controversy and bitterness.
In Texas, the end came swiftly. After guiding the Rangers to winning seasons in four of his first six full seasons, Valentine was fired on July 9, 1992. The team was 45-41, but more was expected. The ownership group, led by George W. Bush, decided to fire Valentine without asking general manager Tom Grieve.
‘’They could have fired me or the scouting director,’’ said Grieve. ‘’It wasn’t just Bobby’s fault. Bobby got the most out of our team. Some of the relievers we had weren’t fit to be in the big leagues. But when we went through a bad streak, that was it.’’
There were no hard feelings. Valentine sat with Grieve in his private box a week later, and the two remain close friends.
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