Curt Schilling: Things are ‘going bad’ with Bobby Valentine and Red Sox players

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.”

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Bobby Valentine calls reported rift between him and Ben Cherington ‘lazy journalism’

When Bobby Valentine interviewed for the Red Sox managerial position, he knew exactly what he was getting himself into. Overreaction among the Boston media is second nature. In fact, it’s practically part of the job description. We all know how boring spring training can be, so when a report surfaced that Bobby V. and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington are caught in a power struggle — despite the fact that the regular season hasn’t even started yet — none of us were surprised. Valentine wasn’t surprised either, but he certainly doesn’t agree.

“I think it’s lazy journalism,” Valentine said in response to the article according to Boston.com. “That’s what I think. I think it’s an easy story to write. It has no validity. Absolutely none. I could have written it in on December 3. Are you kidding me? There are some guys who are lazy and some guys who are clever. It was a clever journalist that set that all up, too. It comes with the territory.”

While there may be some truth to the rumors that Valentine and Cherington disagree on what to do with Daniel Bard and Jose Iglesias, I’m inclined to agree with Bobby. The story was an easy one to write in that every team has these issues in spring training. There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t have roster disagreements in spring training. Everything just happens to be a bigger deal in Boston.

That being said, nobody would be surprised if Valentine and Cherington eventually butt heads. It is a known fact that the Valentine hire was the work of John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and the Red Sox front office. Cherington wants to run the team the same way that Theo Epstein did, but having an ego like Bobby V.’s around could make that a challenge.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Ben Cherington and Bobby Valentine reportedly already in a power struggle

Is it possible for a manager and a general manager to have a falling out before a team has played a single regular-season game under either person’s rule? Prior to Saturday, I would have told you it’s highly unlikely. That was before the Boston Globe reported that new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and new manager Bobby Valentine are already experiencing a power struggle.

Two young players appear to be at the heart of the disagreement. For starters, Valentine is reportedly not thrilled about the idea of having Daniel Bard as a starting pitcher, and after what he has seen throughout spring training he may already be planning on having him return to the bullpen at the start of the regular season. Cherington’s plan for the future of the team includes Bard as a starter.

The other issue involves 22-year-old shortstop Jose Iglesias. Iglesias is said to be a tremendous fielder, but many believe his bat is not MLB ready, as he is batting .200 this spring with one extra-base hit. According to the Globe, Cherington would rather see experienced utility man Mike Aviles at shortstop to start the season while Valentine is ready to let Iglesias have the position.

Depending on how the differences play out, this could be much ado about nothing. Perhaps Iglesias will begin the year in the minors. Maybe Bard will start and hold his own or return to the bullpen and dominate. Winning heals all, but from the sound of it the relationship between Cherington and Valentine — who was the choice of Boston’s ownership and not Cherington — is not all that strong. At the very least, this will be one of many story lines to monitor as the season gets underway.

Photo Credit: Justin Neohoff-US PRESSWIRE

Bobby Valentine blasts Joe Girardi for calling a tie game after 9 innings

With the Red Sox and Yankees locked in a 4-4 tie after 9 innings on Thursday night, Joe Girardi decided his squad was out of gas. The Yankees manager told the umpires he was out of pitchers, so there was no choice but to end the game in a tie. Bobby Valentine would have preferred to keep things going, and after the game he made it clear that he wasn’t buying Girardi’s no pitchers excuse.

“They had plenty of pitching. Probably too long of a ride,” Valentine said according to the Boston Globe. “They could have known that going in.”

Valentine, who had relief pitcher Clayton Mortenson warming up in the bullpen after the Red Sox tied it in the bottom of the ninth, said he didn’t think it was “courteous” that no one consulted his club about calling the game.

“Usually you go over and say, ‘Hey, I don’t have any more,’” Valentine continued. “I don’t know. I haven’t been around in a long time. Joe knows better than I. I guess you just walk off the field. I’m sure (Girardi) didn’t do anything deliberate. It’s just I have to answer a pitcher who’s trying to make the team. That’s why you use that bullpen.’’

The whole situation isn’t really as big of a deal as Valentine is making it out to be, but he has a point about having to disappoint a pitcher who is trying to make the team. If Girardi truly had absolutely no pitchers left, that’s one thing. However, as a pitcher you won’t get many better opportunities to impress the coaches in spring training than a tie game in extra innings innings against the Yankees. Both managers probably should have had a say.

Ozzie Guillen would have told Bobby Valentine to go **** himself

Ozzie Guillen was right when he said he was one of the best things to happen to Chicago. I know, I know, he’s no longer with Chicago, but his presence is still a great thing for baseball.

Ozzie was ejected in the sixth inning of the Marlins-Red Sox spring training game Monday for arguing a call. He had to walk across the field to exit through the Boston dugout. Opposing manager Bobby Valentine apparently waved him goodbye. Ozzie didn’t see the smug sendoff, but he knows what he would have said had he seen it.

“I didn’t see it,” Guillen said. “I would have told him to go and (expletive) himself, too. That’s the way Ozzie Guillen is.”

God bless Ozzie Guillen. Guillen apparently believed a ball hit to first that was called foul was actually fair, and he believed the umpire who made the call wasn’t in position to do so. Valentine seemed amused by that fact, hence the wave. Guess Bobby V. isn’t as innocent as the folksy character he made himself out to be on “Baseball Tonight.”

Del talks Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox with ESPN 1420 in Honolulu

With spring training upon us and football season in hibernation until the fall, Del joined Bobby Curran of ESPN 1420 in Honolulu on Thursday to talk some baseball. As you all know, the always-outspoken Bobby Valentine has been blowing up headlines already with his jab at Derek Jeter, alcohol-free clubhouse policy, and mini verbal war with Terry Francona. As for the Red Sox themselves, there are plenty of question marks heading into the 2012 season after a disastrous end to 2011. Del and Bobby spoke about that and more Thursday afternoon.


Bobby Valentine reponds to Terry Francona: ESPN pays you to say stuff, Red Sox pay me to do stuff

Even the most naive person would be lying if they told you they could not envision things getting uncomfortable between Terry Francona and Bobby Valentine during the upcoming season. Last year while Bobby V. was in the announcer’s booth at ESPN, Francona was still in charge of the Red Sox and one of the most successful managers in team history. This year, Valentine has replaced Francona in the Boston dugout after an epic meltdown last season and Terry has joined the ESPN staff. Awkward? Of course it is.

On Monday morning, Francona said he believes Valentine’s decision to ban alcohol in the clubhouse is more of a public relations stunt than an actual ban. As you might have expected, Bobby V. took very little time to fire back.

“I don’t really have a comment on that. That means that 20 teams were looking for PR and that’s why they’re making good decisions? I don’t have a comment on that,” Valentine said according to the Boston Globe. “Remember, you’re getting paid (at ESPN) for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff. I’ve done both.”

Valentine is referring to the 20 teams — Boston included — that have banned alcohol in their clubhouses. That’s a good point, but those other 19 teams didn’t ban alcohol in response to a public relations nightmare that painted their pitchers as beer-guzzling idiots, so Francona’s point is valid as well. The way these two swapped places in such a short span is bound to be uncomfortable, and something tells me the back-and-forth we saw on Monday only scratched the surface.