Could Bobby Valentine Return to the Mets?

It has been assumed that Jerry Manuel is going to lose the interim from his "interim manager" title, and become the full time manager some point soon after taking over for Willie Randolph and pushing the Mets back into the race before ultimately folding again on the last day. But the negotiations between Manuel and the Mets haven't been automatic, and coincidentally, former friend Bobby Valentine has expressed interest in returning to the Mets.

Valentine, now manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, told 1050's Andrew Marchand in an e-mail, "I am working for a team that needs me and wants me as their man. I love it here, but I am an American and love great challenges. I was in a Met uniform in the '70s, '80s, '90s, 2000, and would love to be there in the next decade."

There's something strange about this. First, Manuel is seemingly playing hardball with the Mets in negotiations, and all of a sudden Valentine's name just happens to come up publicly ... after his name wasn't even mentioned during the Shea Stadium ceremony during their final game. Seems a little too convenient for me.

Meanwhile, any day now Gary Carter is expected to unveil a Power Point presentation to Omar Minaya as to why he really should be Mets manager*.

*Not really, but would you be surprised?

UPDATE: Of course, as soon as I write this, WFAN in New York has just reported (via Jon Heyman) that Manuel has indeed signed on with the Mets for two years and an option. If the floating of Valentine's name was indeed part of the conspiracy, it worked.

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