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Mike Aviles denies “very ugly scene” with Bobby Valentine

Apr 23, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

Bobby Valentine, Mike Aviles, Jacoby Ellsbury AP

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote a column about Bobby Valentine in which he reports that the Red Sox manager “got all over shortstop Mike Aviles in what sources described as ‘a very ugly scene’ during infield drills.”

That was during spring training and Madden claims that the incident led to a “near player revolt” in which “a group of Red Sox players confronted him with outrage” and “Valentine had to apologize to Aviles.”

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com contacted Aviles directly to ask for his side of the story and he replied: “I don’t know where that came from. I don’t remember any incident like that. There was nothing that comes to mind that would be anything like that other than just normal player/coach interaction.”

Not exactly a firm, no-doubt-about-it denial, or maybe I’m just being too cynical. Either way, even Maddon writes that “since then Valentine has outwardly praised Aviles” and of course installing him as the leadoff hitter despite a .319 career on-base percentage suggests the stay in the doghouse was short-lived if it existed at all.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Good grief, can we go a day without Valentine drama? This man’s a cesspool.

    • petey1999 - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      Good grief, can we go a day without Valentine drama? These writers are cesspools.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        I hear you Petey. It seems they could now be fabricating things. Is the writing material now to a point where the only thing to write and/or creat controversy about is Bobby Valentine?
        High School is over people. The drama end as well.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        They are, but it’s unnerving how much crap we’ve had to hear already.

      • bozosforall - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM

        Good grief, can we go a day without a whiny Boston fan crying about their teams. These Boston fans are cesspools.

    • deathmonkey41 - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      Bobby Valentine thinks the amount of coverage being dedicated to Bobby Valentine is just fine, thank you very much.

  2. arungupta27 - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Does Vegas have an over/under on how much longer Valentine stays in Boston?

  3. eric174 - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    So who is the source?

    Really tired of people not having the guts to put their name to the gossip
    they keep spewing.

    And people believing it is tiresome as well.

  4. hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    This reminds me of Tom Coughlin joining the Giants. He was brought in to whip the coddled underachieving Giants into shape. There were guys who retired, and many anonymous players went to the league complaining of excessive offseason workouts. 2 Super Bowls later, the harshness of Coughlin has been superseded by those lauding him for his leadeership. The Sox brought in Valentine to whip these guys into shape, but a clique in the clubhouse clearly are running the show.

    I really find it astounding at how little respect his players have for the managerial position. I said it yesterday, and I meant it, that this team has a few bad team mates that don’t respect authority. I believe it is Pedroia. He took to the media to express displeasure with his boss for going to the media to express displeasure with Youklis. Hypocrisy much Pedey? Not only that, but Pedey attempted to embarass his boss about coaching in Japan, all the while telling his boss how it was going to be done in Pedeys clubhouse. Now this? Can Valentine criticize anyone without being undermined by his employees?

    I believe in the motto of praise in public, and criticize in private, so if Valentine dressed Aviles down, I wouldn’t have liked it either. However, it was spring training, meaning his first week or 2 on the job, far too early for a player mutiny. Valentine was brought in to be the antithesis of his predecessor who coddled these guys. Management needs to make up their mind as to how long they are willing to allow the inmates to run the asylum, because the ringleader who constantly is undermining his management needs to go.

    • bobdira - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      Simple 2 word answer for why this happens, repeatedly in baseball and basketball. Guaranteed contracts

      • 18thstreet - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:53 PM

        In another thread, there was a piece of agreement about how managers really don’t matter much. In baseball, players matter and talent wins out. As long as one accepts this belief, then it’s hard to argue that the players have too much money or power. The managers are kept in their place.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      You also failed to mention that Coughlin softened his tough-guy stance somewhat in direct response to pushback from his veteran players, and it was after that happened that the Giants won two Super Bowls in five years.

      • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        Failed to mention? Why so argumentative. I wrote 3 paragraphs, not a thesis.

        “Following the game, Giant star running back Tiki Barber called out Coughlin and his offensive coordinator, partially because a Panthers player said that “We knew what they were going to do before they did it.” Coughlin and Barber have yet to reconcile their differences, with Coughlin even refusing an interview by Tiki, then a sideline reporter for NBC, which would have been held prior to a Panthers-Giants game in 2008

        Also, tight end Jeremy Shockey stated that the Giants had been “outplayed and outcoached.”

        One retired, the other was benched then traded.

        I think Bobby Valentine needs to do something similar, because it appears a few players believe they are running the team.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        It doesn’t matter how much you wrote, you left out a key fact that pretty much contradicted what you were saying. I’m not argumentative. I’m pointing out that you’re wrong. Yeah, Barber quit in part because of his conflict with Coughlin (although he also trashed Eli and a number of his other teammates on the way out the door). Other veterans who had bashed heads with Coughlin patched things up after he toned down the hard-ass routine somewhat.

      • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        Was he given more than 2 weeks before a player lead mutiny?

        I understand he toned it down. He wasn’t brought in to be a hard ass his entire tenure. He was brought in to change a lackadaisical culture. He run a tough camp, and focused on fundamentals. Tiki went from 16 fumbles to 4.

        Valentine was running a tough camp, and likely focusing on fundamentals, which is where the argument took place, during infield drills.

        I think it is a very fair comparison. Coughlin was given the opportunity to change how things would be done. Valentine has had to apologize to a player by threat of player revolt during infield drills in spring training, then had to apoligize to a struggling third baseman for saying his head wasn’t in the game. There are only two infielders I can imagine would have the ability to stand up to a manager before the season starts, Pedey and Youk.

        Upper management needs to give Valentine more power to discipline players, including ridding themselves of those who continuously undermine him.

    • ssazz - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      Your terminology is off, the players are not Valentine’s “employees”. Bobby V doesn’t write their checks, he is not their employer. The Boston Red Sox are. They are his subordinates, and he is their manager. Yes, he is their superior in the structure of the team and organization, he does have a say as to who is on the major league roster, but your “boss” and “employee” framing isn’t entirely accurate.

      I get your point about the clubhouse having a clique that is sabotaging Valentine’s efforts to manage the team. I just think you pushed the argument out of it’s actual context.

      I’m no Sox fan, but it’s not Bobby V’s fault in regard to front office decisions or injuries I agree, but he is the one who opened his mouth in regard to Youk. No one can think that wasn’t going to be addressed by the players who have played, and won, with him long before Bobby got there. At least Pedroia said what he said unambiguously and on the record. Just because Valentine is the new manager shouldn’t mean a team leader can’t call him out when he pulls a bush league move. Even if Valentine was right about Youk, no other response should/could be expected from a team leader asked to comment. As for your final sentence, are you then saying Pedroia (“the ringleader” ?) has to somehow change or he should be sent packing from the team? If so, that sounds absolutely ridiculous. Getting rid of Pedey, as though if only he wasn’t there, these horrible pitchers would’ve done better than they did last Sept or this April, makes zero sense. And, when they were in first place last year before their pitchers imploded, was Pedrioa undermining Francona then as well? Getting rid of their one core, beloved homegrown everyday player (beside Ellsbury), so Bobby V’s efforts or broadsides aren’t offended, is beyond wrongheaded.

      • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        Calling out a player for lack of effort is not a bush league move. It is a management style, and Valentine should have been given the opportunity to manage, without being undermined by his “subordinate” (my boss doesn’t cut my checks either dude, but he’s still my boss and I’m still his employee).

        Ridding themselves of Pedroia has nothing to do with his performance on the field. It has to do with continually undermining his manager. Who do you think was responsible for mandating this supposed apology from Valentine, or threatened to walk out of camp? Some AAAer hoping to make the team?

        “That’s not how we do it here” is such a bullshit thing to say to your boss, and I’d have sat him for a week because of it. Pedroia’s performance on the field is great, but to have a team leader, a star player, dictating to the manager undermines all of management, thus the entire organization.

      • ssazz - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        Calling out a player in public like that absolutely is bush. Talk to him in your office then when it’s two friggin weeks into the season. If it’s still going on in July then think about calling a player of Youk’s caliber out in the press. If that’s how Bobby wants to handle things, fine, but then Pedroia pointed out that it’s going to be a problem. I think you’d get that reaction from a lot of veterans in a lot of clubhouses, I don’t think he was undermining anybody. He was defending the effort of his teammate as he sees it. Bobby says he wasn’t calling Youk out to begin with, that everyone misunderstood and he even apologized. So which one is it anyway? Either he was calling out his player in his “management style”, or he wasn’t, he should make up his mind.

        I don’t buy your argument in any way that Pedroia is some clubhouse cancer that needs to be excised from the team. And what the hell do you mean by “continually undermining his manager”? You followed that charge by repeating the same dubious example. So what are some of the other many egregious examples of this “continuous” campaign against his manager over the first three weeks of V’s tenure? Y’know, beside the one Valentine himself initiated?

    • offseasonblues - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      How do you distinguish, from the public perspective, praise in public / criticize in private and coddling?

    • bigleagues - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      There’s NO guaranteed money in the NFL.

      There’s NO guaranteed money in the NFL.

      There’s NO guaranteed money in the NFL.

      There’s NO guaranteed money in the NFL.

      There’s NO guaranteed money in the NFL.

      Etc . . . Etc . . . Etc . . .

  5. sajeddk - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I don’t recall bobby v getting this much attention when he was the manager of the mets. Either way he’s never won anything in America….was Tito really this bad I don’t think so

  6. randygnyc - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Bill Madden is pretty solid. It would be a scandal if this want true. I heard on NY sports radio today that Madden got the story from someone in the red sox camp that would like to see valentine ousted (no specific source)

  7. sabatimus - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    FIRE BOBBY *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*

  8. benbosox670407 - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Good grief, they need to give it a rest and maybe focus on why the piching sucks; who brought in the bench players to start; why $75m is sitting on the DL. Like it has been mentioned; pitching was not addressed in the winter, ownership went “less expensive’ in bringing player help; ownership went CHEAPASS in not bringing back Pap. WTF is going on w/ all the injuires – how long did Crawford know he was hurt and did not tell staff? Dice-k and Hill are coming back but have the Sox been “Lowried”?? Ah well, on to the Twin cities and the game of “which sox team will show up”
    .

    • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      I agree. Valentine was criticised in the article for allowing Bard to pitch to one too many Rays in the 1 to nothing loss, as if taking Bard out because he was at 103 pitches is a necessity. He was throwing a shutout, and his bullpen has an ERA of 10. Who in their right mind would have pulled him?

      Someone deserves blame for thinking 4 all stars could carry a AAA team, but it’s not Valentine.

    • bosoxfan1950 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      I agree with most of what you wrote, “ben.” In fact all except the crack about ownership being CHEAPASS about Papelbon. Don’t know how you could write that. Papelbon wasn’t going to play/pitch again in Boston no matter what ownership, management, or Red Sox Nation did. No way. No how. Particularly after his last performance in a Red Sox uniform, the lost save against Baltimore! For years Papelbon had spouted about wanting to test the Free Agency market. Wanting to be the highest paid Closer in MLB. The day he became a free agent, he told his agent, “I want to play for the Phillies. Make it happen.” The Phillies immediately offered Papelbon a contract which he jumped on and rode it out of town as though the devil himself were chasing him. By the time anyone else heard about said contract deal, it was a done deal and Papelbon was long gone and hard to find.

  9. xpensivewinos - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    We always talk about the intangibles that players or managers have. This is one of the negative intangibles that Valentine brings which is just one of the billion reasons why the Red Sox made a felony stupid hire.

    This stuff doesn’t have to be true to be continuously disruptive.

    These stories and rumors and urban legends and the overall negative vibe are really all he brings. No one has any confidence he’s going to fix what’s wrong there, it’s just a constant watch for whatever the next controversy is going to be.

    He’s a loser and it just speaks volumes about the Red Sox ownership that they brought this guy in.

    • bozosforall - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:47 PM

      Fits perfect with the loser fan base too.

  10. skids003 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Clowns running the circus.

  11. mlblogsrichroehl - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    i never liked bobby v when he was doing tv commentating; he always sounded like somebody who thinks he better than everybody. the one thing i liked about him was that he ‘helped out’ alot after 911. otherwise i could never stand his attitude. personnally i would be alot more motivated to ‘work for’ tito than this guy.

  12. bobbyvsunkmybattleship - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Noise about “ALLEGED” noise. I wish I could make a paycheck writing about things that may or may not have actually happened.

  13. mj2sexay - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Dear Red Sox Nation,

    Thank you for one-upping us in buffoonery out of a management position by hiring Bobby V. It’s so much more fun seeing him set your team on fire, especially when Pats fans try to make foot jokes.

    Sincerely,

    Jets Fans Across the Country

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