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Red Sox Interested In Bobby Valentine As Manager

Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) — Bobby Valentine would “be honored” to talk more with the Boston Red Sox about their vacant managerial position.

He said Friday that he already has spoken to general manager Ben Cherington and “I’m looking forward to having conversations, if that’s what they want to do.”

The former manager of the New York Mets and Texas Rangers said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that “I hope that there’d be a plan to give me an opportunity to meet” with the owners.

Foxsports.com reported that Valentine has met with at least one owner and will meet with others. Majority owner John Henry did not return an email Friday seeking comment. Team president and part owner Larry Lucchino and Valentine, an ESPN analyst, participated on Nov. 3 in Hartford in a program put on by the World Affairs Council on the global rise in the popularity of baseball

At the time, both said they hadn’t discussed the job with each other.

“He’s a great man and a great manager and he has a colorful and successful history, so his name inevitably comes up in this day and age,” Lucchino said.

Valentine led the New York Mets to the World Series in 2000 when they lost to the New York Yankees. He was fired by the Mets after the 2002 season. He managed in Japan from 2004-09, winning the Japan Series in 2005 with the Chiba Lotte Marines.

“I have a great job, and I wouldn’t insult my employers by saying I’m interested in another job,” Valentine said at the Hartford event two weeks ago. “I have two more years on my contract with ESPN and I’m very thankful for that.”

The Red Sox are seeking a replacement for Terry Francona, who left Sept. 30, two days after a loss in the regular-season finale left them out of the playoffs. They’ve interviewed Philadelphia bench coach Pete Mackanin, Milwaukee hitting coach Dale Sveum, Cleveland first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Toronto first-base coach Torey Lovullo and Detroit third-base coach Gene Lamont.

Sveum was hired as manager of the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

The energetic, experienced Valentine would be a departure from that largely unproven group. Lamont is the only one of the five with major league managerial experience.

The addition of Valentine to the list of candidates increases the likelihood that the Red Sox won’t announce a manager before Thanksgiving.

On Thursday, Cherington and his assistant, Mike Hazen, left the general managers’ meetings in Milwaukee for the Dominican Republic, where they planned to scout players.

The Red Sox didn’t rush to hire a manager after Grady Little was fired following the 2003 season. Francona was hired on Dec. 4 and, in his first season, led the Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years.