These are tough days indeed for Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. Today, he told an on-air radio host in Boston that he’d punch him in the mouth if he was in-studio because the host asked whether he’d “checked out” on the season. Valentine was reported to have been late to getting to the ballpark in Oakland last weekend after he’d picked up his son at the airport in San Francisco. The son’s flight was late, but Valentine says he sent the lineup to his coaches and advised them he’d be at the ballpark a little closer to gametime than usual.
Naturally, given how things are going in Boston these days, that was big news. As was Valentine having Scott Podsednik penciled in the No. 3 spot in the batting order for the first time in his career during the same series. Podsednik is one of the few guys still hitting for the Red Sox and Valentine chose to switch things up a bit.
But he sort of gave a sarcastic response when asked about it. “Just a mistake,” he said. “Is that what it says on the lineup? What the (expletive). Switch it up. Who knows? Maybe it will look good. I haven’t seen it.”
The comments have since been portrayed somewhat as if Valentine had lost his marbles a bit. Today, he fired back at some of his critics somewhat at Safeco Field. I had to cover Mariners manager Eric Wedge first, but then made it over to join Valentine’s session with reporters midway.
Valentine addressed the “punch” comments.
“Didn’t I go, ‘Ha ha?’ I think I did,” Valentine said. “I don’t think physical violence is necessary for 60-year-old people. I think it made the point that there are lines that should be drawn in the sand when someone’s trying to be professional and sounding unprofessional. Sometimes it’s better to be abrupt and then let everyone know you’re kidding.”
Needless to say, the atmosphere for this Valentine session today was a bit different from the normal pregame with Wedge. You could cut the tension with a knife. I’ve put two minutes of audio up top where Valentine addresses the Podsednik aftermath and questions the intelligence of media covering the team. Don’t forget, Valentine was a media member himself not too long ago (and soon might be yet again).
Valentine began by saying that he’s “tried to make light of some situations” and that it hasn’t always worked out. The audio picks up the rest.
Anyhow, I posted the audio just to give you all a feel of what it was like being in the room.
“There’s been a lot of obstacles in my way and I think I’ve jumped them and sometimes been knocked down by them,” he says in the clip. Just doing as good as I can do, all day long,” he said. “I’ll say ‘miserable’ because it’s turned out to be not what’s expected. It’s been a little misery, yeah.”