Prior to the Red Sox' series opener against the Twins Thursday, Bobby Valentine followed up on his comments made during his Wednesday appearance on The Big Show. (To listen to the interview, click here.)
The Sox manager had identified the only time ownership had talked to him about communication issues as after he made a comment to third baseman Will Middlebrooks during what has been identified as the June 16 game in Chicago. Valentine went on to explain that the comment was overheard in the dugout, and then relayed to the team's executive level.
"It's silly, whatever. I don't even remember when it was, but if you need it, because if you don't talk about it then it becomes a bigger story, because then you guys can make it up," Valentine said. "[Middlebrooks] came into the dugout, he made a couple of errors and I said, 'Nice inning, kid.' I had thought I had established a relationship with him where I could say something like that and he would try to smile or relax a little. Maybe he grimaced, I don't know, but somebody overheard it and decided that it was a very dreadful thing for a manager to say to a young player, and decided to repeat it a few times, this dreadful thing. And that person didn't go to the locker room when I went with Will after the game to explain to him when I made three errors in a game and I was 21 years old and the fans went and booed me off the field and how I got through it and other people get through it, it's a great learning experience. I don't think that Will has been mortally wounded by that two-and-a-half month ago comment."
When asked if he had spoken to the person who passed along the incidents to the Red Sox higher-ups, Valentine said, "I have no idea who said it. It came back around to me."
Middlebrooks told WEEI.com Wednesday that he didn't recall the occasion in question.
"I don’t even remember that [incident]. I’m sure it happened, but if I made a couple errors, I was probably pretty hot," said Middlebrooks. "He’s good about that. He keeps things pretty light. He’s never angry or mad at you. He knows you’re playing hard and doing the things that matter."
Valentine downplayed the notion that somebody in the dugout would have relayed such an incident, suggesting the chain of events didn't take him too much by surprise.
"Was I bothered? No, it was expected," he said. "Some guys don't get it."
As for originally divulging the story on WEEI the day before, Valentine said, "I don't know, ask him. It happened two and a half months ago or something. It's the most stupid thing that I ever said on a radio program. But it was also ridiculous for someone to repeat it I think and that was the point I was trying to make."
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