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Bobby Valentine failed to use any tact when talking about Kevin Youkilis in an interview with Channel 7 that aired Sunday night.
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,” said Valentine. “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.”
When asked about the comments, Youkilis said he was “confused”…
“That’s not what I see,” Youkilis said. “I go out every day and play as hard as I can — 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 still get upset with myself. I still get mad.”
Dustin Pedroia also came to his teammate’s defense:
“I don’t really understand what Bobby’s trying to do, but that’s not really not the way we go about our stuff around here,” Pedroia said. “I’m sure he’ll figure that out soon.”
Even general manager Ben Cherington disapproved of Valentine’s comments:
“I think as with many things in baseball and life, the more you get a chance to talk about it and understand what people mean were and how they perceived something, that’s what allows you to get past it. Kevin and Bobby spoke. I spoke to Bobby, I spoke to Kevin. What needed to be said has been said and we’ll move forward,” Cherington said.
So, after Monday’s loss to the Rays, Valentine explained his comments:
“I should have been more specific. Physical is about your swing, emotional is about not being happy when he doesn’t hit a ball off the wall,” said Valentine. “I’d be surprised if Kevin didn’t know I was totally behind him…We’re big boys. I think he’ll get it. If not, I’ll talk to him a lot more.”
Youk later acknowledged that he and Valentine were “fine.”
After the game, Pedroia also acknowledged that he and Bobby V were “cool.”
Well, I’m not sure. I guess Bobby V has a big mouth (we knew this) and it can get him in trouble in Boston (we now know this).