Valentine, Ventura express mutual admiration

Valentine, Ventura express mutual admiration

CHICAGO -- When Bobby Valentine managed Robin Ventura from 1999-2001 with the New York Mets, he never looked at his third baseman as a manager.

"But I looked at him as a leader. I looked at him as a guy who definitely knew the difference between right and wrong," said Valentine, who brought his Red Sox into town Thursday for a four-game set against Ventura's White Sox. "I don't think he ever mentioned any idea of managing.

"That's why I say no. Some guys -- [Joe McEwing], I always thought about him, because he would ask questions and we would talk. But I think Robin was the guy, if they ever had a closed-door meeting, I'm sure he was one of the guys who spoke up."

Ventura holds Valentine in high esteem as a manager, and doesn't believe Valentine should change his personality to fit the Boston situation.

"I know for me, I can't do that. I can't be someone else," Ventura said. "He's been successful. When you hire him, that's what you're hiring.

"He's smart. He knows a lot of different things. He sees a lot of things that go on in a game that in one way or another can be improved. He's been around. You learn a lot from a guy who is willing to experiment a little bit with different things -- defensively, lineups all that kind of stuff."