In an interview with WHDH before Sunday’s game, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Youkilis:
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But [on Saturday] it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he’ll move on from there.”
WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Youkilis arrived early to the stadium, where he met in private with Valentine.
The criticism comes as Youkilis showed signs of recovering from a slow start to the season.
“That’s not what I see. I go out every day and play as hard as I can. I take every ground ball in the morning, take every at-bat like it’s my last. I don’t think my game has changed at all … I’m more confused than anything, because I think everyone knows I go out and play the game as hard as I can.”
Meanwhile on Monday, Dustin Pedroia came to his teammate’s defense in comments to the media. NESN’s Tom Caron tweeted Pedroia as saying:
”I don’t really understand what Bobby’s trying to do. But that’s really not the way we go about our stuff here. I’m sure he’ll figure that out soon. We’ve got Youk’s back. He’s played his [butt] off for us for a long time …”
Asked if he thought Valentine’s comments could have been meant as a motivational tool, Pedroia didn’t sound impressed.
“Maybe in Japan or something,” he said, referring to Valentine’s stint as a manager there. “Over here in the U.S., we’re on a three-game winning streak, we want to feel good and keep it rolling. We feel we have a good team and we’ve just got to get each other’s backs and play together. Because if you don’t do that, I don’t care what sport you’re playing, you’re not going to win.”
The comments from Pedroia undoubtedly will revive Curt Schilling’s take on Valentine, where he suggested that the manager was not a good fit for the Red Sox.
Even as a Yankees fan I have quite a few fans of the Red Sox for friends and I can say the news that this assclown was hired as their new manager this off-season was almost universally regarded as a “dumpster fire waiting to happen”.
After witnessing all of this it’s not hard to understand why.