Last night Bobby Valentine was quoted as saying “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But on Saturday it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he’ll move on from there.” As expected, these comments raised some eyes in the Red Sox clubhouse. More specifically Kevin Youkilis (obviously) and Dustin Pedroia.
Kevin Youkilis was confused by Bobby V’s comments, saying “I’m more confused than anything because everyone knows I go out and play the game as hard as I can.” Bobby Valentine’s comments were a bit confusing counting the fact that Youkilis was starting to turn a corner during the weekend. But to be fair to Bobby V, he did comment on how Youkilis was looking a lot better at the plate recently.
Pedroia was clearly not happy with Valentine’s comments about Youk. He said “I don’t know what Bobby’s trying to do, but that’s not the way we do things here,” “Maybe that stuff works in Japan.” It’s clear that Valentine is going to have to make it clear to Pedroia that he shouldn’t be making comments about management to the media. In 2010, Detroit manager Jim Leyland called out Miguel Cabrera and when asked about his comments, Cabrera refused to speak to the media about it. Even if Pedroia’s comments may have an element of truth to them, he shouldn’t be making those types of comments.
Valentine informed the media today that he had apologized to Kevin Youkilis for the comments. This morning he said “When he told me that people called him and told him that I said things that he didn’t like, I totally apologized. I said the last thing in the world I want you to think is that I’m doing anything to criticize you. I was giving an answer to a question and I should’ve been more specific and said your physical was about your swing and your emotional was not being happy when you don’t hit a ball off the wall.” The quote is a bit disjointed, but it seems as if Valentine wasn’t intending to take a shot at Youkilis at all, he was just saying that he’s been injured and that when Youkilis isn’t at 100% he’s not into the game as much as he usually is. He went on to say that he knows that Youkilis is usually really into the game and he was surprised to see Youk in the condition he is right now.
Everybody’s opinions aside, Bobby V probably shouldn’t be making comments like this to the media. While I think this story is being blown out of proportion like usual, Valentine needs to be mindful that anything that he says is going to be scrutinized and the media is always looking for the next news story. My hope is that this doesn’t happen again and Valentine works on trying to give “Tito’ esque answers to the questions instead of saying things that could be misconstrued.