Bobby V. is returning to broadcasting in a move that can be considered truly out of left field.
Former baseball manager Bobby Valentine, who in between his many seasons on the bench for the New York Mets, the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, and that lone year with the Boston Red Sox, had plenty of face time on ESPN as an analyst on “Baseball Tonight,” and spent one season in the booth on “Sunday Night Baseball” in 2011, has opted to let his voice be heard.
Valentine has joined the clubhouse that is NBC Sports Radio. As pitchers and catchers report to training camps, he’ll be phoning into several NBCSR affiliates on a regular basis.
And when NBC Sports Radio begins broadcasting round-the-clock on April 1 – just one day after the 2013 baseball season starts – Bobby V. will be co-hosting a daily program on the network. The time slot has yet to be determined, and it’s likely that it’ll focus solely on MLB, as opposed to all sports.
“I always state my honest opinion and I can’t wait to share it with NBC Sports Radio listeners,” Valentine said in a press release. “I can’t wait to get started.”
So why is this kind of a surprising move? Many would have expected him to land another television gig, perhaps a third go-round at ESPN. And he may no doubt appear on NBC Sports Network programming on television for analysis at times (the TV version of “Pro Baseball Talk” can’t be too far behind, can it?).
But it’s hard to imagine him primarily working as host of a radio program when, basically, the only radio experience he’s had are apperances on WEEI during the one season he was the Red Sox skipper – especially that verbal altercation on what would eventually be the beginning of the end of his tenure at Fenway.
Or maybe that’s the kind of feistiness that NBC is banking on to get listeners to tune in.
As Chris Corcoran, GM and executive VP of NBCSR partner Dial Global expressed, “We all know that Bobby V. will bring a passionate and opinionated voice to NBC Sports Radio, and we can’t wait to light that fire.”
I suppose as long as he’s not threatening to punch his yet-to-be-named co-host in the face, it’ll work out.
“Bobby Valentine has always possessed one of the greatest minds and sharpest tongues in all of baseball,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, the senior VP of NBC Sports Ventures who also hosts his own show on NBC Sports Radio on Sunday mornings. “This will be must-hear radio.”
Oh, I see what he did there – a derivative of NBC’s longtime slogan, “must-see TV.”
The big question is whether or not Bobby Valentine will be looking for something else to do after one year.