Bobby Valentine ‘Appreciated’ Dustin Pedroia’s Defense of Kevin Youkilis, Calls his Own Comments an Accidental ‘Check Swing’April 19, 2012 – 8:00 am by Steven Cuce
Bobby Valentine just can’t seem to stay out of the news since he became the Boston Red Sox manager. Whether it be criticizing the New York Yankees or firing back at Curt Schilling, the Red Sox manager has sure made his presence felt. Earlier this week Valentine took on a new opposition: his own ball club. Kevin Youkilis was the subject of some careless comments made by Valentine. In his weekly appearance with WHDH-TV’s Sports Extra, Valentine said that the Red Sox third basemen seemed less “into the game” this year compared to past seasons.
Dustin Pedroia didn’t appreciate the comments. Like it or not, the reality for these Red Sox players is that they were directly involved with the firing of former manager Terry Francona, meaning they’re now sleeping in the bed they made for themselves.
Bobby Valentine joined WEEI in Boston with The Big Show to discuss Dustin Pedroia defending Kevin Youkilis, his comments being overly critical of Kevin Youkilis, Pedroia calling him out as the manager of the Boston Red Sox, his job security compared to the Red Sox players, his motives for calling out Youkilis’s struggles, and managing differently in Boston because everything he does is highly scrutinized.
What did you make of Dustin Pedroia’s comments regarding your opinion of Kevin Youkilis’s struggles? It sounded like he was telling the manager how things were going to be on this team?
“I really appreciate the fact that he is backing his teammate. Once again you are giving his comment without the question and talking to Dustin. He thought the question was a little misleading.”
Do you know what the question was that you answered regarding Kevin Youkilis’s struggles?
“I think it was something about the manager criticizing one of his teammates.”
Dustin Pedroia pointed your name out in particular in saying you’ll learn how the Red Sox go about their business in Boston. Were you comfortable with him calling you out?
“That’s one of those things. I really appreciate players when they stick together. That’s exactly what he should be doing.”
Is it difficult to manage when the players in this day and age have more job security than the managers?
“Well I don’t know if we deal with security. It’s a team effort. We’re all doing it together and I think we are pulling on the same end of the rope. Everything works fine.”
What is the reality of your comments on Kevin Youkilis? The fans have multiple conspiracy theories. What is the reality?
“It would be just that I had…I said something like a check swing. A check swing you have no intent to swing, but the arbiter calls you out, so you can’t get it out and that’s what it is.”
Do you have to operate differently in this town because everything you say is going to be blown up in Boston?
“If necessary I will. I don’t know what differently is? I am trying to learn what I need to do and do whatever it takes to make this team the best team it could possibly be. This is a great town. That is what it is. This is what it is. I hope I could understand what and how I need to do things to be the best that I can be.”