If the Red Sox don’t come out of the gate on fire this season, things could go south in a hurry. Although it is the Boston media’s job to make a mountain out of a molehill — especially in March — the general consensus surrounding the team seems to be that the Bobby Valentine era has not kicked off smoothly. During an interview with WEEI earlier this week, Curt Schilling claimed things are already not going well for Valentine and the Sox.
“I thought that the manager that managed the Mets that I was not a big fan of was now going to be a different manager, and I don’t think there’s anything different at all,” Schilling said as masslive.com pointed out. “And I don’t think that that is going to be conducive to doing well here. There’s a lot of things I think that are happening not just from his perspective, but when you talk to these guys — and I’m still talking to some of these guys — I don’t think this is going well. And I think it’s going bad quicker than I expected it to.”
Unlike Terry Francona, Valentine has a reputation for expecting a lot of his players off the field and crowding their space. Several of the Red Sox veterans are not accustomed to that type of managerial style, and you could easily envision a guy like Josh Beckett not buying into it.
“The point I made the other night was that he’s doing a lot of things right now that are forcing his players to extend their media involvement to answer questions about him and the situation when it’s already a challenge enough to do it, to play in this market and to win,” Schilling continued.
“Any time you introduce the wild card — the guy who’s going to flip over the spread or throw something against the wall or act and react in an unpredictable way — it’s not a positive thing.”
It’s important to note the source in a situation like this, and Schilling has a reputation for flying off the handle and exaggerating things. However, he is hardly alone with his opinion of the state of the Boston clubhouse. Someone like Jim Leyland can get away with not taking any crap because he has been in Detroit for a while. The players know him and respect him, and they want to win for him. Valentine is the new guy. Coming into a clubhouse full of guys who make $15 million a year is no easy task. If he doesn’t ease into it and tries to be an authoritarian right away, certain players could turn on Bobby V. in a hurry.
H/T Eye on Baseball
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