SI: Do you worry about getting ostracized in management circles if you're too critical on TV?
Valentine: I try to live as honestly as I can without worrying about consequences.
SI: Can you still root for the Mets?
Valentine: I'm a fan of the Mets. I have too many friends there to say I would root against them.
SI: Could you manage for George Steinbrenner?
Valentine: The guy managing for George has the luckiest job in the world. [George] wants to win more than anybody and puts his money where his mouth is.
SI: Among the tough headlines you endured while managing the Mets from '96 to 2002: WHY WAIT? CAN THE PHONY NOW. Do you have a favorite tabloid headline that involves you?
Valentine: Most of those are framed in one of my restaurants. We have a collage of all that kind of nonsense. Probably THE MOST HATED MAN IN BASEBALL sticks out.
SI: You became friends with President Bush when you were with Texas and he was part owner. When did you last speak with him?
Valentine: He called me the morning after I got fired [Oct. 1], but I've talked to him since. It was one of the weeks before the war, when we both had a moment of free time. But I'm indebted to him forever that I answered the phone the morning after I was dismissed by the Mets and he was on the other end.