Suffice it to say, Youkilis wasn’t impressed:
“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.”
”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.”
I know I shouldn’t say this, but frankly the Red Sox feel like an afterthought of sorts in the American League East right now. Not that they’re not a good team, but what can you say about them, relative to the other contenders? The Yankees are deep and balanced on paper, the Rays have a stacked pitching staff, the Blue Jays had a promising young team and seem to be constantly adding more, and Boston is the Bobby Valentine show. Winning might make everything alright, but what happens when things aren’t going well? The Red Sox aren’t the Rays or the Blue Jays, they’ve got a collection of veteran talent on the team who have postseason experience and World Series rings. Valentine was out of MLB for a decade after the Mets canned him. Is Valentine going to get those guys to buy into his schtick? Are they going to respond well to him calling out popular members of the clubhouse publicly?
At this point, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit shocked if the Most Intelligent Man in Baseball isn’t once again without an MLB job before the end of the season.
(H/T to Craig for all the links)