Monday, February 23, 2009

Valentin Is Realistic About His Chances

Words that would be great to hear, but may not be heard this season: “Now batting for the Mets and playing second base, number 99 – Jose Valentin…”

Valentin is realistic about his chances. He knows he is getting older, he’s 39, is coming off a battery of injuries, including surgery on his neck, hamstring problems, and a broken tibia – all in the last two years.

About his chances, Valentin says,
“Hopefully, this is not the end, but if it is, I’m ready for it. If it happens, I’ll be proud of myself, proud of what I’ve accomplished and the type of player I was and the type of person I am. I’ll just go ahead and start a new career.”

Valentin also realizes that this might be his last chance to partake in a World Series. Spanning a career that began in 1992, the Stache has never had the opportunity.

If Valentin doesn’t make the Mets roster out of Spring Training, he will report to AAA Buffalo, and be a player-coach. Ken Oberkfell, the Bison’s manager said this about having Valentin as a player-coach,
“Shoot, you kidding me? Who wouldn’t? I might go to him for advice more than he’d come to me.”

A turning point in Valentin’s career came when he was a young player playing for Jerry Manuel and the White Sox, and Manuel saw something he didn’t like, and pulled him into his office:
“He’d tell me that I could give more than I was giving him and that I was a better player than I showed that day. He told me he expected more from me because he thought I had a lot of managing potential. The way he communicated that to me — it was perfect. I respected him and valued his opinion. That told me I had what it takes.”

It would be great if there was a place on this year’s Mets for the Stache, but if not, we might see him in the dugout or coaching the bases one day soon in Flushing.

Thanks to
BEN SHPIGEL - NY TIMES for this story.

1 comment:

Long Island Met Fan said...

To have him around the team in any capacity would be a plus!