Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, who broke the story about the Red Sox' meeting regarding players' displeasure with manager Bobby Valentine, joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning and warned Red Sox Nation to prepare for more controversy as further details of the meeting leak out.
"These days, not just with baseball, not just with the Red Sox, things can stay secret only so long," Passan said. "As we know, as we've seen in the past, unfortunately for the Red Sox, things often do not end well there. In fact, they end -- I believe I used the words 'mushroom cloud.' I think this is the first bomb dropping. Certainly, there will be more."
Passan reported that players complained to ownership, and the bosses called a meeting in which players aired their grievances. Dustin Pedroia confirmed the meeting but implied that it was designed as a general discussion to improve the team. Passan says otherwise.
"The meeting wasn't all kumbaya, hold hands, let's get on the same page," Passan said. "It was, a lot of it focused on Bobby Valentine and on the players' lack of content with his job this year. Look, there was more than I reported, guys. And there's more than I reported because I couldn't get second and third sources to confirm some of the details. But there's more out there than what has been written at this point. And because this is Boston and because these are the Red Sox, that stuff is going to come out.
"If Dustin Pedroia wants to come out and say they weren't trying to get Bobby Valentine fired, that's perfectly fine. They may not have said, 'Fire Bobby Valentine.' But everything at that meeting was designed to do was to let the ownership know they did not like this manager, they do not get along with him, they do not respect him, and it would be better if things were changed. And when things didn't change, there's a resignation among the players, that, 'OK, this is how it's going to be for the rest of the season. We'll deal with it, we'll go on and hopefully going forward we can get this franchise back on the right track, with or without the guy.' "
Passan -- who said contrary to assertions by Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez, he has spent time around the team -- predicted more leaks about the meeting are forthcoming.
"If something about Terry Francona allegedly taking pills is going to come out, then I think some clubhouse stuff is going to come out, too," Passan said. "It's baseball. Guys talk. It's Boston. Guys talk. That's the way that this goes.
"It cracks me up. I was on with you a couple of weeks ago, I think. And I very vaguely alluded to this because I knew all this stuff was going on. To see somebody complaining about leaks in Boston and about there being a rat cracks me up to no end. Because everywhere around this thing there are leaks. It's part of the organizational dysfunction.
"The guy who I feel worst for, to be honest, is Ben Cherington. It's like he's caught in the middle of this whole thing. Ben Cherington was purportedly handed baseball operations, and then his owner went over his head to hire the manager. He's got these contracts that have been inherited with these players who -- I don't know if you want to term it a mutiny or whatever it may be -- [are] complaining to ownership about [Valentine]. He's stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because the owner doesn't want to get rid of the manager, because that would make the owner look bad, and yet they don't want to get rid of the manager either because it would look like you're emboldening the players and the inmates are running the asylum. So, the situation that the Red Sox are in right now sucks. And it's going to take a little while to dig out of it."
The perception of Gonzalez could be changing with his role in this controversy, and Passan said that might be a good thing.
"The players went to Adrian Gonzalez," Passan said. "They knew that he shared the sentiment, but they went to Adrian Gonzalez and they said, essentially, 'You're a respected figure. People listen to you. They know that if you do this, you're not just a person who's bitching. You have some teeth behind you voice.' So, for Adrian Gonzalez to step up and do that -- whether you look at it as insubordination or look at it as something else -- I think that there are threads of leadership in that. And that this whole idea that Adrian Gonzalez is just some laid-back San Diego kid is honestly inaccurate. I think Adrian Gonzalez is the type of guy who, with this franchise going forward, needs to take on a more active role, not only because he's going to be there for a long time but because within that clubhouse I think people look up to him."
As for Valentine's future, Passan said not to expect a decision until the offseason.
"Absolutely, I think Valentine will survive the year -- barring some sort of very weird happening," Passan said. "Look, I don't want to predict anything unequivocally with Bobby Valentine, because it's obvious that the way that this year has gone, crazier things have happened than the manager getting fired in the middle of the first year. But I think between the votes of confidence and that meeting not causing a change, that pretty much says Bobby will be here for the rest of the year. Now, if the Red Sox end up under .500, if the Red Sox don't make the playoffs, you wonder what the longterm relationship between him and this organization is."
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront certainly put on quite the pitching performance, as the Red Sox were trounced by the Jays. Does this change the team's approach to the trade deadline?
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
The guys discuss their easiest college classes.
After comments by Nick Caserio, the guys discuss if the Patriots should adjust their defensive approach after the additions of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?
We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.More from this show