Bobby Valentine, Ben Cherington Enjoying Collaboration Despite Differing Personalities

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Bobby Valentine, Ben Cherington Enjoying Collaboration Despite Differing PersonalitiesDALLAS ?- Bobby Valentine is the outspoken veteran. Hailing back to his days in New York, the manager has never shied away from confrontation, notoriously needling the front office during his tenure.

Ben Cherington is the reserved rookie. After 14 years within the Red Sox organization, he ascended to general manager in October and has approached the scrutiny with a low-key demeanor.

Their personalities are polar opposites. But a little over one week into the relationship ?? Valentine was formally introduced on Dec. 2 ?? the duo has been encouraged by their ability to collaborate on decisions.

"These five days [at the winter meetings] there's been a lot of inclusion, and I've been one of the guys that has been included in the conversation," Valentine said. "That's right where I want to be.

"I don't think [Cherington] bothers me at two in the morning when he comes up and he's staring at the ceiling and comes up with some idea. But it's been very structured and very educational."

It's premature to deem the rapport successful yet. With clashes against former Mets general manager Steve Phillips on Valentine's record, a strong start with Cherington is imperative to rejuvenating the Red Sox.

For his part, Cherington isn't afraid to listen. As Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves attempt to transition from relievers to starters, he has leaned on Valentine's acumen from the 2,189 games Valentine has managed in the majors.

"He's really open-minded and that's a benefit for us because we need to be open-minded this offseason building our roster," Cherington said. "He's got a history of being open-minded when it comes to managing a pitching staff and figuring out roles for guys."

Hiring a coaching staff could produce the tandem's next test. Although Valentine has retained hitting coach Dave Magadan, third base coach Tim Bogar and bullpen Gary Tuck, he still seeks a pitching coach, a bench coach and first-base coach.

And during Wednesday's interview session, Valentine articulated his belief that managers should have the ultimate preference when hand-picking a staff. 

He supported the assertion by recounting story of when ex-Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry ?? a two-time Super Bowl champion ?? welcomed him to town before his first season as the Texas Rangers skipper.

"[Landry] said 'Bobby, the only bit of advice I'm going to give you is make sure your coaches speak your language,'" Valentine said. "Your staff has to be able to say your message. They have to be part of your baseball world."

Fortunately for Cherington and the Red Sox brass, Valentine is willing to unite their worlds together. Despite lacking a background in statistical analysis, the 61-year-old showed eagerness to master the evaluation tactic during his job interview.

So for now, the sole disparity between the pair is their personalities. The variance in style was on display yet again in Dallas.

Just one week into the job, Valentine already hurled fuel to the New York and Boston fire with his declaration "I hate the Yankees." But when Cherington was asked to add his two cents, he passed.

"With six weeks as GM, I haven't earned [the right to hate the Yankees]," he said, chuckling.

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