Bobby Valentine was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan Show on Wednesday, a day after the Red Sox lost 6-3 to the Rangers. The Sox find themselves at 55-56 on the season, nine games behind the Yankees in the AL East and 4.5 games behind in the wild card chase. Valentine was asked if the 111 games this season -- plus the 7-20 finish last September -- are an indication that this might simply be a .500 team.
"No, I don't think so," Valentine said. "I think we're a playoff team and I think we're going to be there before the season is over."
John Dennis suggested that 89 wins could be the number needed to get that second wild card. That would mean a 34-17 finish would have to happen for the Sox. Does Valentine think that is a reasonable expectation for this team?
"Yeah, of course," Valentine said. "Of course we can do better than that. I don't think that's so optimistic, I think if we stay healthy, and right now we have some concerns in the bullpen, if we can stabilize there is big runs ahead."
Jon Lester has shown frustration with umpires over what he perceives as missed calls, doing so again in Tuesday's loss. Valentine was asked if he thinks this has had an impact on Lester's performance this season.
"Yeah. I think it's just part of, you know, the combativeness of this culture that we have here and it seems that sometimes there is a prevailing attitude that affects us adversely," Valentine said.
Last week on The Big Show, Valentine said that someone in the dugout told ownership about a sarcastic comment the manager made to Will Middlebrooks following a pair of defensive miscues in an inning earlier this season. Valentine was asked Wednesday if bothers him that players could be talking to ownership without his knowledge.
"I don't think anybody went up the back stairs," Valentine said. "This is all drama stuff. I think guys got together and some of the owners when talking to the guys probably said, 'Hey have there been any situations that have been something other than you expected?' and someone might have said something and it might have gotten back to me. I don't think anybody was running up stairs."