Bobby Valentine made his first of what will be a weekly appearance on The Big Show on Wednesday. Valentine was first asked about his decision to also appear in a weekly spot on ESPN Radio in New York and if he thought it was a potential distraction in the clubhouse.
"I hope not, it's for fans all over," Valentine said. "We have fans in New York, obviously, that don't hear this show unless they have the internet. What do you think I should be worried about?"
With Andrew Bailey possibly out for four months with upcoming thumb surgery, Valentine announced earlier Wednesday that Alfredo Aceves will start the season as the club's closer. Valentine was asked how he arrived at the decision to have Aceves handle the ninth-inning duties.
"By taking consensus of the coaching staff and talking to some of the players," Valentine said. "This is a guy who can go out there and has what it takes to get the last out. We have Mark Melancon who has already done that also, he'll be in that mix, but starting off I think Alfredo, if anyone, has the credentials."
Valentine said he has "no doubt" that Josh Beckett will make his start on Saturday at Detroit.
"I think he can go as long as needs to go or as long as he tells us he capable of going," said Valentine regarding Beckett on Saturday.
There has been no shortage of critics of Valentine this spring, particularly national media members who have suggested that Valentine might not be the right fit for this team. Valentine laughed when asked if any player has expressed concern about his managing style over the last month.
"Are you serious? No," Valentine said. "Spring training is not a clubhouse situation, you aren't dealing with 25 guys who are all sensitive to every little thing that goes on because in spring training every player is going about his own business. It's a very individual situation. I think everyone is jumping the gun there."
One of the more vocal critics has been Curt Schilling, who has said that Valentine is "not the right fit" for the Red Sox and told WEEI last week that things are "going bad" for the club this spring under the new manager. Valentine was asked for his thoughts on Schilling's comments.
"I never saw them, I heard about them and I basically think it's irrelevant," Valentine said. "Because it's something about something he's knows nothing about, obviously. He never played for me, he's never been in uniform for me and he hasn't been in the clubhouse during the spring. … Don't make stuff up."
As for Schilling's motivation, Valentine pointed to the former Sox pitcher's relationship with former Sox manager Terry Francona.
"I know that he was Tito's main guy," Valentine said. "And maybe it goes back to them in that position and maybe he wants to make sure that things don't go well. Who knows?"
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