When he arrived at the ballpark on Monday morning, it didn’t take Bobby Valentine long to realize that his first order of business on Marathon Monday in Boston was to apologize to his third baseman. When Kevin Youkilis came into Valentine’s office, the Sox manager thought he was going to give him a status update on his sore groin. Instead, Youkilis was seeking an explanation for Valentine’s puzzling interview on Sunday, during which he questioned Youk’s level of commitment.
“When he told me that people called him and told him that I said things that he didn’t like, I totally apologized,” Valentine said according to the Boston Globe. “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.
“I don’t know if he accepted my apology, but it was very sincere. The last thing in the world is that I didn’t want him to think that this was anything but an answer to a question that seemed to be jabbing at him. I was just trying to smooth it over and I guess that I didn’t.”
As he indicated Monday morning, Dustin Pedroia seemed more put off by the comments than Youkilis was, telling reporters that calling out players might work in Japan but that isn’t how the Red Sox do things. After Monday’s game, Pedroia said he and Valentine had smoothed things over.
“Yeah, we talked about it,” Pedroia said. “We’re all good.”
While this situation will likely blow over pretty quickly, it could be a preview of what’s to come in Boston this season. He may be in charge, but Bobby V. is the new guy in town. He has a reputation for calling out his players publicly if he has a problem with something they’re doing, and as Pedroia showed us that is not going to sit well with the veterans in the Red Sox clubhouse. If and when this team hits a rough patch during the season, Valentine will have to be very careful about choosing his words if he wants to prevent a mutiny.
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