Bobby Valentine could have been diplomatic, gracious and sane, but then he would not be Bobby Valentine. He saw the potential for a conflict with Kevin Youkilis and just could not resist. The Red Sox manager blamed Youkilis for “making a big issue” about him questioning his commitment to the media rather than his face.
“I wasn’t here last year. There was no friction in spring training. So I think that’s a joke. But I’ll take all that. I think the comment that I made early, he made a big issue out of and I don’t think he ever wanted to get over it.”
Valentine provided support for the notion, never confirmed, that Youkilis was the snitch for the “beer and fried chicken” story.
“Yeah, I was aware of that,” Valentine said. “I was a newcomer. I inherited that situation, didn’t cause it.”
He also attributed Youkilis’ success since leaving Boston to him not being fully on board when he was playing for the Red Sox.
“I haven’t seen him play. But he’s gotten a lot of hits,” Valentine said. “He’s played a lot of games. Seems like he’s healthier. … I’m not surprised. Matter of fact, [hitting coach Dave Magadan] said no doubt that if he went somewhere else he would play better.”
Most in-game baseball decisions are simple questions of probability. The Red Sox manager’s primary job is to keep the players happy and productive and to minimize distractions. Valentine seems to be the primary source of both the clubhouse discord and the distraction.
[Photo via Getty]
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Previously: Dustin Pedroia on Valentine: “I don’t really understand what Bobby’s trying to do”
Previously: The Red Sox Traded Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox
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