Time for Bobby V, part II?

New GM Omar Minaya will meet with ex-Blue Jays skipper Carlos Tosca on Friday, knowing full well that he doesn't provide any real buzz amongst their fan base. Neither do potential candidates Rudy Jaramillo, Jim Fregosi or Joey Cora, although their hirings would all exhibit Minaya's full autonomy. <P> No, the best choice may to be to bring back Bobby Valentine for a second go-round in Queens.

The Mets, of course, would have leapt at any opportunity to secure Lou Piniella from the Devil Rays, but the Tampa native is at home and seems committed to seeing the Devil Rays continue to improve – he guaranteed the Devil Rays wouldn't finish in the AL East cellar this year, and lo and behold, they did not.

The organization knows they need a reversal from the hands-off, low-key managerial style of Art Howe, which means they're looking for Howe's exact opposite. Amazingly enough, that would be Valentine, which is the reason the Mets went after such a nice guy like Howe in the first place.

Valentine isn't popular with many of the New York writers or with some of the current Mets players – nobody has forgotten that Tom Glavine and Cliff Floyd both said that they probably would not have come to the Mets if Valentine had still been in the manager's seat.

But, with Minaya settling in for a long winter's worth of work, it may not matter much. Glavine has posted two consecutive 14-loss seasons with New York and, with pennant contenders always in need of a quality left-handed starter (New York's bullpen cost Glavine eight wins this season), Glavine may not be considered important enough in the club's movement back to respectability.

Similarly, Floyd disappointed the Mets by needing a significant amount of time on the disabled list for a second straight year and angered some officials with negative comments about how there was "no light at the end of the tunnel."

Valentine, who missed the playoffs by half a game with his Chiba Lotte Marines this year – the last two games of the schedule were wiped out by a player's strike – has an out in his contract with the Japanese club that allows him to leave for a Major League job at any time.

It's thought that he'd welcome a reprise with the Mets, although he would surely request more of a voice in front office decisions – nearing the end of former GM Steve Phillips' tenure, Valentine had been all but silenced in any personnel moves.

Valentine had total control over all minor league decisions with Chiba Lotte, and while he wouldn't be able to expect that with the Mets, Valentine would enjoy a more cordial relationship with Minaya than he did with Phillips.

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