Bobby Valentine Doubts That Josh Beckett Will Land On DL, Doesn’t Give A ‘Darn’ About What Buster Olney Says About Clubhouse

August 2, 2012 – 5:30 am by Steven Cuce

The Boston Red Sox are feeling better about themselves over the past week after taking two of three games from the Yankees in the Bronx. Bobby Valentine still believes the AL East is there for the taking as his team begins to get healthier thanks to the return of Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and, soon enough, David Ortiz.

Valentine has never been one short for words and in the following interview he takes a shot at a former colleague he used to work with at ESPN.

Bobby Valentine joined WEEI in Boston with The Big Show to discuss the status of Josh Beckett’s back injury, Buster Olney’s comments that there is a lot of discontent in the Boston Red Sox locker room, being ‘liked’ by the players in the dugout, Terry Francona being in the clubhouse before last Sunday night’s game against the Yankees and the day that David Ortiz will return to the Red Sox lineup.

Is Josh Beckett headed to the DL after his back tightened up in the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Tigers?

“I doubt that. It doesn’t seem like a DL. But again, when Josh left last night he was tight. The trainer’s report so far today and Ben [Cherrington] had talked to Josh, was it just a little tight and we’ll take it, as we do, day by day.”

What are your thoughts on Buster Olney’s comment to WEEI saying that there is a lot of discontent in the Boston Red Sox locker room towards the manager?

“He’s also discontent that I wouldn’t go on the show with him when he does Sunday Night Baseball and he’s crying a little here because I wouldn’t let him interview me in the fourth inning. So, we have to understand the source here. I understand Buster. He’s really a hard-working guy. He’s so hard-working he’s always on these talk shows that he has to make sure he’s gathering information for you guys. Who gives a darn what he says about that situation? Why don’t we hear about Kirk Gibson and how many of the players don’t like him or about Jim Leyland and who’s upset with Jim Leyland’s pitching moves? This is absolutely ridiculous, but I think it’s good drama so let’s keep the ball rolling and maybe it will get Buster more air time. That gets him more tweets and that’s how he gets paid.”

Is it necessary as a manager to be ‘liked’ by his players in the dugout?

“Hey we all like to be liked. Let’s not kid anyone. Everyone likes to be liked. But everyone also knows that if you go around and just try to make everything a popularity contest you are going to lose sight of the ball. The ball that I look at is making us be as good as we could possibly be. That’s what I focus on every day.”

Did it bother you that Terry Francona was in the clubhouse last Sunday night before the game against the Yankees? Was it a big deal?

“I don’t think so. If that’s what the guy feels good doing than what would be the problem? If Tito felt good doing it than what is the problem? What people are assuming is that here are these guys whispering about all of their discontent about me saying to Will [Middlebrooks] nice inning when he came off the field or whatever other chat might be out there. I don’t think that was the case at all. It could have been, but I doubt it.”

Where is David Ortiz at in terms of coming back and returning to the lineup?

“In the clubhouse…probably the training room? He took batting practice yesterday. He hit the heck out of the ball. He looked good. Felt good. I think the running part of the equation has not be addressed fully yet. We are not going to push that. He’s close.”

Listen to Bobby Valentine on 850 AM WEEI in Boston here

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