New York Mets all-time greatest managers – No. 3: Bobby Valentine
No manager in Mets history has won more playoff games than the great Bobby Valentine. In two postseason trips, Bobby V won 13 games as the skipper in the postseason. He also did pretty well in the regular season, going 536-467. His .534 winning percentage ranks third all-time among all managers.
Valentine arrived at the perfect time for the Mets. Just as they were looking to put the forgettable early 1990s in the past, he swooped in and took over.
Of course, Valentine had some advantages other managers didn’t. His tenure as the dugout’s leader included years of having Mike Piazza in the middle of the lineup. Even so, we need to give him credit for bringing the Mets back to the postseason in 1999. Prior to this trip, they had not played beyond the regular season since Ron Darling’s loss in the 1988 NLCS.
In many ways, Valentine was the ideal manager for the Mets. He had a personality you could love or hate depending on how the team was doing. As we later saw when he managed the Boston Red Sox later on, when things go bad, they get really rough.
The highlight of Valentine’s time with the Mets came in 2000 when he helped take the team to the World Series. However, his most memorable moment happened one year earlier.
After getting ejected, Valentine returned the dugout in a disguise best served for a playing card in the game Guess Who? The iconic image of Valentine wearing sunglasses and a fake mustache is forever cemented in baseball lore.
As ridiculous as it was, it also served as a reminder of how much fun baseball can be.