The Red Sox thought there would be significant changes in the clubhouse after Terry Francona left. The Red Sox thought correctly. Is the tit-for-tat between new manager Bobby Valentine and veteran third baseman Kevin Youkilis good? Simple answer, yes.
Bobby is being Bobby. Do I agree with Bobby’s way of talking about players? No. The unwritten rules of sport dictate players keep their issues in the clubhouse. A manager needs to give critical feedback in private too. Valentine, maybe intentionally or maybe not, succeeded in accomplishing one thing: he single-handedly unified the Red Sox players.
Dustin Pedroia‘s defense of Youkilis shows more than just concern for a teammate. Pedroia is voicing a concern that each player in that clubhouse probably has. If the manager will openly criticize a player like Youkilis, everyone on that team is fair game. Anyone, regardless of profession, will tell you managing by fear is not managing.
The baseball season is a long one. The BoSox are talented and will do some damage as the season progresses. Youkilis already said he’s over it. Valentine will find his way eventually. No one, especially the Red Sox Nation should be surprised about Bobby Valentine. He is but one of many colorful managers in baseball history. At least his club’s owner is not firing him on television. My apologies to Billy Martin and Mr. Steinbrenner.
Lately, the theme in baseball is managers making the headlines. This isn’t what baseball needs. It’s time for these outspoken managers to change their ways and leave the game to the players. Let them play.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!