Ken Rosenthal caused quite a stir last night when he tweeted that he “keep[s] hearing Bobby Valentine is [a] finalist for the Brewers, along with Bob Melvin and Cora.”
Tom Haudricourt blogged that he had talked with Rosenthal about the topic before Rosenthal fired off that tweet:
I talked briefly with FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal at World Series media day today and broached the possibility with him that Valentine is in the running for the Brewers’ job. We agreed it would be difficult to keep that quiet but it can’t be completely discounted until we hear otherwise. And I see that Rosenthal later tweeted that he “keeps hearing” Valentine’s name pop up as a finalist, so he must have picked up additional info later. Ken is very connected so I always listen to what he has to say. I also talked with some ESPN folks later who couldn’t discount the possibility.
While Valentine would be an exciting hire that would get people around the country talking about the Brewers, let’s pump the brakes on this idea a bit before it gains too much momentum.
Is it possible Rosenthal is right? Sure. But Rosenthal’s also been known to report on rumors like these, only to have them turn out to be bogus. If you Google “ken rosenthal wrong” you get over 56,000 results. Thinking out loud, it could also be possible that Rosenthal was actually talking about that conversation he had with Haudricourt when he says he “keeps hearing” about Valentine.
Both Rosenthal and Haudricourt are absolutely right in pointing out a couple of things — even if Valentine is considered a finalist for the job, does Valentine actually want to come to Milwaukee and remain committed to the Brewers? And if money is what it would take to convince him to take a lower-profile job, would the Brewers be willing to spend the money to bring him in? These are the biggest factors when it comes to Valentine — even moreso than his knowledge of the game or on-field strategy.
I’m still not convinced he would be worth the extra money. I’ve always been one to believe that it’s just not smart to throw a lot of money at a big-name manager, considering the difference in managing styles between the best and worst managers in the league is minimal. This is why the Yankees reportedly working on a deal that would give Joe Girardi $3 million a year is absurd — honestly, what would he do differently with that team compared to Ned Yost or Juan Samuel?
What would Valentine bring to the Brewers? Probably more butts in the seats to start the year, perhaps a bit more national media attention, and some good soundbites to postgame press conferences. On the field, what could he provide that Bob Melvin, Joey Cora, or Ron Roenicke couldn’t? Based on past experience, maybe a win or two? Is that really worth the million-or-so more you’d have to pay him over the other candidates?
I don’t think so, and I still think the Brewers shouldn’t be wasting their time with him.