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Watch Out, Jim: Bobby V Will Be Free in 2010

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This one is for Billfer, who mentioned on his last Detroit Tigers Weblog Live webcast that Bobby Valentine is someone he'd like to see the team look at for manager if Jim Leyland isn't brought back for 2010.

As it turns out, If Leyland doesn't get that contract extension he's been campaigning for, check out who will be in the job pool after the 2009 season.

From SI.com:

The Chiba Lotte Marines have decided not to offer Bobby Valentine a contract extension after his current four-year deal expires at the end of 2009 season, the former New York Mets manager said Sunday.

I'm still of the belief that Matt Walbeck will be Detroit's manager after Leyland, but despite a handful of young players that might find their way to the majors in 2010, the roster will likely be stocked with plenty of veterans. And the Tigers might want a more experienced manager to deal with that.

Valentine has managed 15 seasons in the majors with the Rangers and Mets, accumulating a .510 winning percentage. He took the Mets to the 2000 World Series, where they lost in five games to the Yankees. He's also managed five seasons in Japan, winning the Japan Series championship in 2005.

(His skills as a master of disguise are also quite formidable, as the above photograph illustrates. Ethan Hunt has nothing on Bobby V.)

And if you're really curious about Valentine's time in Japan, he was the subject of a documentary called The Zen of Bobby V, which ESPN Classic is re-broadcasting on New Year's Day. (I'm grateful for the chance to watch a rerun, as I had the original broadcast sitting on my DVR, only to put off watching it until it was eventually deleted to make room for other stuff.)