Bobby Valentine ranks as one of the most beloved managers in recent New York Mets history. He led the team for seven years around the turn of the century, the last lengthy managerial tenure of his MLB career.

His tenure was marred by a frayed relationship with general manager Steve Phillips, as the two could never quite get it together enough to bring a World Series title back to Queens. Valentine recently revealed one regret he had during his time with the Mets, though: a lack of Alex Rodriguez on the team.

Valentine plays revisionist history

Valentine brought up the subject through his Twitter account on Sunday night.

Rodriguez was working the Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN, which featured the Mets and the Washington Nationals. During the broadcast, the former superstar reminded fans that his favorite team growing up were the New York Mets.

That led to this tweet from Valentine.

Back in 2000, it was a real possibility. Fresh off their Subway Series defeat at the hands of the New York Yankees, the Mets were considered a contender for the free agent's services. Phillips balked, however, when a list of demands - including a private jet and a personal office in the old Shea Stadium - were brought to the forefront by Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras.

Instead, Rodriguez signed a monster contract with the Texas Rangers. Two years later, Valentine was out of a job.

The old manager (and current athletic director at Sacred Heart University) might just be trolling his legion of followers, though. After all, he almost never tweets, yet immediately followed up that one with a cryptic post.

What if Rodriguez was a Met?

Of course, after his stint with the Rangers, Rodriguez went on to join the hated rival of the Mets, the Yankees. But what if things were different in the 2000 offseason? What if Valentine got his wish and installed a star in his prime at shortstop?

In both 2001 and 2002, Rey Ordonez was the starting shortstop of the Mets. While his glove was beginning to falter at that stage of his career, his bat was never anything special; in both seasons, he was worth a negative WAR (according to Baseball-Reference). Meanwhile, Rodriguez was worth at least eight WAR in each of those two seasons. That wouldn't have done them a ton of good in 2002 (they finished last in the NL East), but they would've moved from third to first in the division in 2001. After that, who knows?

Unfortunately for Bobby Valentine and the Mets, a past with Alex Rodriguez in the lineup will never be realized.