Curt Schilling always questioned Bobby Valentine’s hiring as the Red Sox Manager. He did not question Valentine’s coaching acumen; he just said it was not a good fit. During spring training Schilling disagreed with Valentine’s decisions in terms of pitcher Daniel Bard. He said he didn’t think that the Red Sox club house was in good shape.
Perhaps Schiling’s assessment of Valentine resonates with Kevin Youkilis today.
Valentine criticized Youkilis’s heart and desire yesterday during an interview with WHDH-TV’s “SportsXTra” after Sunday night’s win over Tampa Bay.
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,” Valentine said. “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.”
Youkilis was stunned by the comments. It shows a stark contrast between Valentine and the Red Sox previous manager, Terry Francona.
“Everyone here knows I go out and play with emotion,” Youkilis told reporters in the Red Sox clubhouse at Fenway Park on Monday morning before the team’s annual Patriots Day matinee. “The only time there has ever been a question is because I’ve been too emotional.”
Francona kept everything in house, sometimes to his own detriment.
Valentine is known for public criticism of his players. He was once in the center of a feud with one of his own players, Daryl Hamilton. Valentine also got into a verbal spat with all-star Cliff Floyd during the mid-summer classic as the game’s manager.
Dustin Pedroia rushed to defend Youkilis.
“I really don’t know what Bobby is trying to do,” Pedroia said Monday. “That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here. He’ll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk. We have each other’s backs here.”
When asked if he thought Valentine’s statement was a motivating ploy he said, “Maybe that works in Japan.”
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