(Reuters) - Bobby Valentine was officially introduced as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday after agreeing to a two-year deal.
Valentine replaced Terry Francona, who led the Red Sox to two World Series championships but left Fenway Park in September after the team missed the playoffs following a dramatic late-season collapse.
"I am honored. I'm humbled and I'm pretty damn excited," Valentine told reporters after putting on his new Boston uniform at a news conference.
Valentine, a former player and manager in Major League Baseball, returns to the majors for the first time since he was fired by the New York Mets in 2002.
The 61-year-old managed the Mets for seven years, taking them to the World Series in 2000, after previously spending eight years in charge of the Texas Rangers.
He also managed in Japan and worked as a television analyst before agreeing to try and turn around the fortunes of an underperforming club laden with talent and a $161 million payroll.
"He's managed for parts of 15 seasons in the big leagues and been to a World Series and won a championship in Japan," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.
"I'm very confident we found the right person in Bobby Valentine.
"And he badly wants to win."
(Editing by Julian Linden)