Never afraid to try something different, Bobby Valentine might be heading from the home dugout at Fenway Park to a small university in Fairfield, Conn. He has applied for the director of athletics position at Sacred Heart, the Connecticut Post has reported. That's not ESPN, that's not a pro coaching gig, that's not even getting away from it all for a year, which nobody would begrudge Valentine after he was let go from the comically dysfunctional disaster that was the 2012 Boston Red Sox.
OK, Bobby. We get it. You're a free spirt, the guy who allegedly invented the wrap; who went to Japan to manage; who signed on to be the director of health and public safety in Stamford, Conn. so he could direct traffic in the middle of a snowstorm; who did a Red Sox radio show exclusively for a New York audience; who unwisely called out star player Kevin Youkilis (also singlehandedly destroying whatever trade value remained); who texts while biking in Central Park; who rappelled down a building with Yanks GM Brian Cashman. And so on.
Sacred Heart is a Div. I school in each of its 31 sports (except for football) with a total undergraduate enrollment of about 4,100. So it's almost as big as Boston. The baseball team won the Northeast Conference in 2012, which is just like winning the AL East. And there's an ice hockey team. Also like Boston. And yet, the story in the Post is not all that flattering to Valentine; it quotes an anonymous school source as saying he is "among the candidates for the job."
Among? Among? You'd think a guy with 40-plus years of experience in professional baseball would be at least among the leading candidates to replace outgoing A.D. Don Cook, right?
The Post writes:
Valentine, a Stamford native, visited the campus in Fairfield about two weeks ago, according to the source.
Jim Barquinero, the university's senior vice president for athletics and student affairs, is spearheading the search for Cook's replacement. He did not return repeated phone messages for comment.
Internally, under consideration is Joe Del Rossi, SHU's senior associate athletic director for development and the director of the Pioneer Club, which is the main fund-raiser for the school's 31 athletic programs.
This Del Rossi dude obviously has the inside track. And if an anonymous source won't even give us an optimistic take on Valentine's chances, they mustn't be so great. Do you think Sacred Heart might have some concerns after what happened with the Red Sox? Valentine working for the city of Stamford might be the most attractive thing on his résumé, now that I think about it.
It's just as well. If Valentine actually went back to school, he might find himself way over his head. He might even run into this guy:
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