Bill Pennington has a story in tomorrow's New York Times about resilient Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and the dark interim he spent between his retirement from pro ball and his time coaching.
There's a chunk of the story that focuses on Valentine's sports bar, Bobby V's in Stamford, Conn. Pennington rules, essentially, that Bobby V's was the first sports bar in America, one of Valentine's characteristically unsupported boasts. (He also claimed he created the wrap sandwich.) But there was this funny bit:
Exhibiting the kind of chutzpah familiar to Valentine's managerial style decades later, he found remedies in uncommon methods and defied authority. He did not don a fake mustache before he did it, but at 4 a.m. one day, when the drug dealers and prostitutes had left the park across the street, Valentine strolled over with a hacksaw.
"I cut down all the wooden park benches," Valentine said. "I just left them in pieces on the ground. With nowhere to sit, it got harder to hang around. I didn't eradicate the problem, but it moved elsewhere."
Well, almost. Late on another night, Valentine left to get in his car and was accosted by a couple of prostitutes. He ended up chasing them down the street until the police arrived and arrested him.
"I spent a night in jail," Valentine said. "They told me I could have one phone call. I called the mayor and he came and hustled me out of the back door."
There is nothing Bobby Valentine can't do. Or maybe there's nothing he hasn't done. Either way, we're terribly delighted to see what he'll do in charge of that chicken-and-beer-downing crash site up north.