Bobby Valentine said prior to Sunday's game that his relationship with Kevin Youkilis never recovered from a comment he made about the veteran third baseman early in the season.
Valentine told WHDH-TV's Joe Amorosino in April that he he didn't think Youkilis was "as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason." The comment got lots of attention, especially when Dustin Pedroia said criticizing players wasn't how the Red Sox handled their business. Valentine said Sunday that Youkilis, who was traded to the White Sox last month, never got past it.
“I think that the comment I made early, he made a big issue out of," Valentine said. "And I don't think he ever wanted to get over it."
Asked what their relationship was like following the comment, Valentine said, "It was whatever he wanted it to be."
"Like I said," Valentine added, "we didn’t have any strained relationship in spring training, and I wasn’t around last year."
Asked about teammates having issues with Youkilis, Valentine said he was "aware" of it, but noted that any problems that Youkilis had with other members of the team predated Valentine's time in Boston.
"I inherited that situation," he said. "I didn't cause it."
The Red Sox will host the White Sox Monday.
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