New York Post
Bobby V behind McEwing, Ventura
Bobby Valentine has rooting interest as the Mets search for their next manager.
As someone who managed two of the potential candidates for the job, Robin Ventura and Joe McEwing, the former Mets manager would love to see a “special” individual in his old seat.
“There’s a few hundred guys that I have managed, but these two are in a special class of people,” Valentine said Thursday. “I think it is a wonderful step in the right direction, when you are hiring for any position, that you have the opportunity to hire a good person. I think great people make great leaders.”
Valentine managed the Mets to consecutive postseason appearances, in 1999 and 2000, with Ventura as his starting third baseman. The utilityman McEwing arrived in 2000, which culminated with a World Series appearance, and became a fan favorite for his blue-collar approach to the game.
The 44-year-old McEwing, who has spent the last six seasons as a coach for the White Sox, was scheduled Thursday to interview for the Tigers’ managerial vacancy. McEwing, Ventura, Kevin Long, Alex Cora, Bob Geren and Chip Hale are among the early names that have surfaced to replace Terry Collins, who announced his resignation Sunday.
The 50-year-old Ventura, known for his calm demeanor, managed the White Sox for five seasons — four times finishing in fourth place or lower. With the Mets, his most memorable moment was his “grand-slam single” in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS against the Braves. Ventura was awarded only a sin- gle on his walk-off grand slam because he never finished circling the bases during the celebration.
“Robin is just a really good person,” Valentine said. “Would that be understood by the players? It sure as hell should be. I am sure his one-onones with players are very much to the point, with no nonsense. He has a very good credential as a player that should be highly respected.”
McEwing, who earned the nickname “Super Joe,” was the Energizer Bunny to Ventura’s laid-back personality, but Valentine said the two are essentially the same on the inside.
“Robin always displayed for me the excitement of doing cool things on the baseball f ield, winning the competition,” Valentine said. “So did Joe, even though they always looked different doing it. I think they really loved what they were doing, and when you have an opportunity to do what you love, you are excited about it. I am trying to describe two birds of a feather, but they look a little different when they fly.”
Though McEwing lacks bi g- l eague managing experience, Valentine said that shouldn’t eliminate him from consideration, even in the New York cauldron.
“Everyone has to manage their first game sometime,” Valentine said. “The Mets have a particular situation, and I don’t think it’s like Chicago, so for example I think Robin has gained experience managing a situation, but he hasn’t gained experience managing a New York team.
“There is a lot of stuff to be managed in New York, besides the players. There is a front office that has to be managed and a press corps that has to be managed and a fandom that has to be managed. It’s all-encompassing these days. But because of their passion I think both would have a high chance of being successful. Neither would self- destruct or implode.”