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Red Sox players “blasted Bobby Valentine to owners”

Aug 14, 2012, 4:11 PM EDT

Bobby Valentine

In news that will surprise absolutely no one, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports has some very juicy details about Red Sox players not loving their time with manager Bobby Valentine.

According to Passan players “blasted Valentine to owners John Henry and Larry Lucchino during a heated meeting called after a text message was sent by a group of frustrated players to the team and ownership in late July.”

Passan specifically cites Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia as having spoken up on behalf of teammates upset over Valentine leaving Jon Lester in to allow 11 runs on July 22.

And during a meeting at a New York hotel called by ownership Passan says “some players stated flatly they no longer wanted to play for Valentine.” That was nearly three weeks ago and obviously nothing has happened since then, at least publicly. In fact, Henry gave Valentine a vote of confidence just last week, saying a change will not be made this season and scoffing at the idea that the manager was to blame for the team’s sub-.500 record.

However, at this point Valentine’s odds of returning in 2013 are very much in question. Passan details a whole bunch of other alleged incidents throughout the season that paint the clubhouse as anything but thrilled with Valentine. General manager Ben Cherington confirmed that the meeting took place, calling it “productive” and “a forum for people to express whatever frustration needed to be expressed.”

Boston is 57-59 under Valentine, who hadn’t managed in MLB since 2002 with the Mets and took the job after serving as an ESPN television analyst. And dating back to the second half of last season under Terry Francona the Red Sox are 75-87 in their last 162 games.

For a whole lot more, read Passan’s full report.

116 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. El Bravo - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Laugh out loud.

    • sarcasticks - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      Nothing as passive-aggressive as a biting text message to the boss’s boss. With that said, a baseball manager needs to be able to balance appropriate rules and discipline with the fact that you’re managing a bunch of highly paid alpha-males who won’t accept too much heavy handedness. You need to keep the players in line, without them realizing that you’re keeping them in line. Because, in the end, the manager always loses when ownership must decide the winner of a power struggle.

      • El Bravo - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        This was a well-thought, level-headed and intelligent comment. This does not jive with your name whatsoever unless you use the most subtle form of sarcasm ever used.

      • sarcasticks - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        Thank you El Bravo. I’ll attempt to live up to my name in future posts, haha.

      • deathmonkey41 - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        Where you being sarcastic there? I’m so confused!

  2. dugldo - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Players need to put the old ego aside. Respect the manager and buy into his program. If its a bad program he will be let go. This just looks to me like a bunch of little kindergarteners running off to taddle on Valentine. Man up Red Sox players and go earn your paychecks

    • DJ MC - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      Or it could be players explaining to the higher-ups that the program is bad.

      • dugldo - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        They resisted from his hire day- never had a chance

      • sabatimus - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        dugldo, yes they DID resist from his hire day because he wasn’t what they were used to. But Valentine himself set the tone for the team by throwing a very popular player (Youk) under the bus right out of the gate.

      • American of African Descent - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:17 PM

        “They resisted since hire day . . . ”

        Sounds like Congressional Republicans since the third week of January, 2009.

    • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      I’ve had bad bosses and I’ve had good bosses….my boss’s boss would never have any idea if s/he was a good one or bad one without employee input….indeed, without any complaints, everyone assumes the boss is doing a fine job….and like it or not, it is the boss’ job to get everyone on board with a program, if the boss fails to do that, then s/he did a poor job leading, which can happen one of two ways: 1) having a bad program to begin with, or 2) being a bad communicator.

      • myopinionisgarbage - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        It’s hard to go from somebody that is, by all accounts, a player’s manager, to someone that is, by all accounts, a media manager.

        Some guys like playing for managers that consume all of the media attention. Some guys like playing for managers that answer a few questions and duck out of the clubhouse. Some guy’s don’t give a shit either way. But, in my experience, when the MAJORITY of the clubhouse doesn’t enjoy playing for someone, it doesn’t matter how much you pay them, they’re going to struggle with success.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      I would say a quarter of the conversations here devolve into “the media are idiots,” with good reason. I remember ESPN used to have this clown on Sunday Night Baseball — this was after Joe Morgan but before Terry Francona — who said stupid things all the time. And that man’s name was Halladay’s Biceps. No, wait — it was Valentine!

      For those of us who disrespected his work as an analyst — thought he talked too much, stated the obvious, made predictions that were wrong, second-guessed players who made understandable mistakes — just imagine what it’s like to have that guy as you boss. Imagine what it would have been like to be Kevin Youkilis — injured, and called out in the media for not caring as much as in prior years from the new manager who never saw who much you cared in prior years. Imagine being the teammate to any of this, witnessing the gamesmanship and the favoritism and the stupidity.

      And tell me if you’d respect that shit.

      • sabatimus - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:25 PM


  3. deathmonkey41 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    And David Ortiz was quoting as saying, “How could they treat me this way? Not giving me a multiyear contract, and then making this man my manager??? How can they treat someone like me this way????”

    Then he broke out the Kleenex and ran out of the hotel room.

  4. lardin - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    If Henry and co had any guts they sign bobby v to 5 year extension and tell the players to deal with or retire

    • kkolchak - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Yeah, with the team under .500 and greatly underachieving, that’s a REAL smart way to do business.

      • lardin - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        It’s either that or let the inmates run the asylum. Because whoever is the next manger is going to have the exact same problem. Unless he caves to the players every whim. The sox are screwed either way

      • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        Equating employees having a say with how business is conducted where they work with inmates running the asylum is 12 kinds of arrogant taradiddle.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        I like the idea of giving an extra five years to the guy who has managed for 16 years and been to the playoffs … let’s see … once.

        That’ll show Pedroia who knows something about winning baseball!

  5. kkolchak - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Interesting to compare the return of Valentine to the return of Davey Johnson as two firey old warhorses who came backs after long layoffs but with completely different results.

    • hokiegajanisgod - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Good point kkolchak.

      Could never understand why Davy Johnson was in the wilderness for so long before emerging in Washington. All the guy did was win…he even won with Baltimore!

    • rooney24 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      They may be similar managers, but the situations were quite different. Johnson came to a fairly young team, that hadn’t had a lot of success, and was able to get the team to buy into working hard while the front office continues to try to improve the team. Valentine came into an older team, with players set in their ways, ways that they felt had made them successful in the past. Johnson has also been considerably more quiet than Valentine publicly. I don’t have a strong opinion either way on Valentine’s ability as a manager, but he hasn’t had much chance of winning over these players from the start. Johnson definitely came into a better situation and has taken advantage of it.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        Johnson is a good manager; Valentine is a bad manager. That’s why one has had success and the other has not.

        Other than their age, I don’t see the comparison.

      • paperlions - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        I disagree. He had every opportunity to win over the players. Good leaders are not dictators, they engage those they are leading, include them in the decision-making process, and make everyone feel they are part of the team working toward a common goal. He had every chance to do this, but he didn’t….because he is a bad leader.

        The “my way or the highway” bit might sound nice, but it generally is not an effective leadership strategy and nearly everyone (even people that will say this is how it should be) hates to work in that environment.

      • kkolchak - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        @paperlions – good point. Standard management theory says that you manage employees differently based upon their level of experience and skill. In other words, you don’t just let a newbe run wild, nor do you micromanage the old hand who knows what he is doing. Seems to me, BV has done a LOT of the latter.

  6. illcomm - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Ryan sandberg is the next coach of the red sox or phillies. whoever makes the move first gets him.

    • cur68 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      Omar Vizquel: Player Manager of your 2013 Boston Red Sox. Mark it down in big letters.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        Gotta bring back Tek. If not, then I’m all for it being Vizquel.

    • Glenn - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      Cool. Any relation to Ryne Sandberg?

      • hokiegajanisgod - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        no one likes a snark…and yes, its no relation to ‘shark’.

  7. jfree781 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Wow, I really dislike this team. I wonder if it was Bobbys fault when they went through the epic collapse last Sept. Go play baseball and win games like your getting paid millions to do. Plenty of people don’t like their boss, but they go to work every day and do their job. I have no sympathy for these egomaniacs. The owners and Cherington really need to go through this team with a fine tooth comb remove the bad apples, because there is a great core in place here.

    • chadjones27 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      And as with any company that has an HR staff, the employees (players) are allowed to voice their frustration with their boss (manager). You’re right, it’s not Bobby V’s fault they collapsed last year. However, it’s not like this year under Bobby’s control is much better. It’s hard to have an epic collapse when you’re already on the bottom.

    • chadjones27 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Although, now that I think about it, given my analogy to a regular office, if one of the employees sent picture messages around like Pedroia, they’d both get canned. The Sox are in a tough situation.

  8. daisycutter1 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    “It has proven far worse, personified best perhaps by a picture circulating around via text message, according to a fourth source.

    Pedroia, notorious among teammates for his wit and humor, is in the foreground with a giddy smile, his tongue wagging and both thumbs up. Next to him is allegedly Valentine, face down on a table, apparently asleep. A caption accompanies the picture: “Our manager contemplating his lineup at 3:30 p.m.””

    This entire article is amazing. Glorious, even.

  9. JB (the original) - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I do remember thinking “what the f*ck are they thinking, I wouldn’t want that guy in charge of taking care of my lawn, no less a ball club” when the Valentine hiring was made, and it sounds like it has gone just about how I thought it would.

  10. moogro - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Omar Vizquel.

  11. bigharold - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    How could it not come to this?? Valentine’s perceived mission was to bring a lackadaisical underachieving club to back life. The RS are a veteran ball club and I’d bet they didn’t think they needed a wake up call.

    If the FO really wanted Valentine to lick ass and take name they should have ditched a few guys to get the attention of he rest. This RS FO is actually worse than when Epstein was GM.

    • spudatx - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Total agree. The players trampled on their last manager and seem intent on blaming their current one for the present woes. I hardly see signs that the veterans are acting like leaders. I hear some of them squawking in the press making fan-friendly statements, but what are they really doing to own the team’s behavior and on-field performance?

      I think the best approach is for a massive shake-up in the off-season to truly be able to move forward. Purge some of the known problems and set expectations for those who remain. Make it clear that no one is untouchable in the restructuring.

    • sarcasticks - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Lick ass? Valentine must have thought he was supposed to kick ass. Now I see the problem.

  12. randygnyc - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    I said it here in a post immediately after the game that Valentine had left Lester in to teach him a lesson (punishment). I was criticized. Some even had the nerve to suggest that he was just eating innings or was given a chance to work out the kinks. It’s obvious that the Red Sox players thought that there was something malicious about it.

    • hokiegajanisgod - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Hate to say this, but you were 100% dead on randygnyc…

  13. petey1999 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    You know, I used think it would be a good idea to name Pedroia captain, but if this is any indication of his maturity, that would be a huge mistake. Maybe if he focused more on playing up to his potential and less on trying to turn back the clock (Tito isn’t coming back), he (and the club) would be better off.

    • Glenn - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      Love Petey, but you are 100% correct. And if they had shown any maturity last year and played a little better, Tito would still be there.

      I don’t get this bunch, but it could be a reflection of the injuries and bad luck. Despite all of those DL trips, they still have about the same run differential as the Rays who everyone trips over to praise.

  14. scapistron - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    It is pretty obvious he was hired to be a Patsy.

  15. openseason51 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Clean house!! Valentine is the best thing to happen to Boston. He is like the interim CEO of a company. The board hires that guy/gal to come in and clean house. They keep the good that are winners not whiners and hire new people. It takes about 18 months to 30 months. It works. I love to do that kind of job. There are a lot of great people out there who want to work and those bums who have work and whine all day should be and hopefully do get fired.

  16. eshine76 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    These are the same guys who gave up on Francona – a “player’s” manager. Now someone yells at them, and they get mad and complain to ownership. I’m not saying that Bobby V is the answer, but he’s not the problem either. The Sox need to consider cleaning house.

  17. davebrownspiral - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I’m no Valentine fan, but enough is enough with this laughingstock of a team. Was it Valentine’s fault this team puked all over itself last September? Is it Valentine’s fault Carl Crawford is turning into one of the top five worst free agent signings in the history of baseball? I say one of, because John Lackey is number one. Is it Bobby V’s fault that Lester and Beckett look like Tim Leary and Andy Hawkins reincarnate?

    The fact that Bobby V has this flaming sh*twreck team hovering around .500 is impressive. These spoiled, underacheiving prima-donnas have no right blasting anybody. Do you think Adrian Gonzalez can find it in himself to hit 20 HR’s this year for the $21 million he’s being paid? And what leadership Pedoria has displayed during the course of this season. What a punk. This team and franchise is an utter disgrace.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Pedroia is starting to rub me the wrong way in a very Drew Brees-esque kinda way.

      • keithbangedyermom - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:29 PM

        Dustin Pedroia is a douchebag.

  18. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Trade Beckett and Ortiz to Toronto for Farrell?

    • paint771 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      Ha! That was my gut reaction too. I’m a Blue Jays fan and like Farrell just fine, but at this point they might actually be able to get a damn decent return for him. Before I even read the comments, my first reaction to this article was to go check out the Red Sox prospect list.

  19. rollinghighwayblues - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I will never understand the amount of credit/blame that goes onto a baseball manager. Yeah, you make a few bullpen moves that can end up being looked at with suspicion/brilliance along with some lineup changes, but otherwise, you fill out a lineup card and set the players loose. Is it Bobby’s fault that the majority of the starting pitching is utter dogshit, lineup plagued with numerous injuries and for the most part, the lack of aggression the players have shown? Just go out and play the game you are being PAID to play. For fucks sake, these guys are multi millionaires that get paid to play baseball and perform, where does the ridiculous audacity come from to blame the guy who basically hits fungo and fills out a lineup card?

    Just pipe down and play. This season has been an embarrassment to say the least. I think the only saving grace I have with this team is that I don’t have to watch John Lackey pitch every fifth day.

  20. cackalackyank - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Remember when they used to call the Yankees the “Bronx Zoo”? These guys just make Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson look like best behavior professionals.

  21. dowhatifeellike - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Good. Starring in the side show is a great way to get swept out of Baltimore.

  22. Tick - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    To paraphrase The Dark Knight – The Red Sox didn’t get the manager they needed, they got the manager they deserved.

  23. hokiegajanisgod - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    This mess could have been avoided last season if:

    a) Red Sox mgmt had given Francona the contract extension he deserved,
    b) Fired or traded any of the malcontents (Youk, Beckett, etc)

    Francona was a good mgr and he could run a clubhouse as good as anyone in the bigs…he wasn’t the problem.

    Mgmt f’ed it up badly and now they be paying for it.

  24. shawndc04 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Twenty-five players, twenty-five cabs.

    • hokiegajanisgod - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      Nah, that was 1987…the 2012 red sox hate Valentine, not their teammates.

  25. michaelstephendaigle - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Would have liked Valentine to have the chance to manage a team comprised of major league talent instead of the AAA team he’s had for most of the season… Sox have lost something like 1,200 games to injury this year…hard to win in Boston with Pawtucket’s starting outfield.. that said, if Beckett and Lester were pitching at a .500 clip even, they’d be in the playoff hunt

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