Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said on The Big Show on Tuesday that he regrets the way he criticized then-manager Bobby Valentine early last season over Valentine's comments about struggling infielder Kevin Youkilis.
Pedroia said that after his now-infamous "That's not how we go about our stuff here" comment, he became aware that fans weren't always on his side as they were in past years.
"I started to get aware of it during the year and it was tough," he said. "Looking back on it, I've had time to think about what I said, and the way everything went down. I regret that I said that in that way, but I'm proud in that to be a team leader, you need to have your teammates' backs under any circumstances.
"I didn't talk to Bobby after he said it, so I didn't know in what manner he meant his comments towards Youk, but I'm a firm believer in when a guy's having a tough time -- and everyone has, this is the major leagues, everyone's going to go through ups and downs -- those are the times when you need your teammates, you need everybody in the front office, you need the fans. We need [everyone] to stick by us, and I felt like Youk was kind of thrown into a corner by himself. When the top dog comes down on you that hard, I felt like Youk needed someone to be there for him to have his back."
Pedroia admitted that he understood why fans reacted unfavorably to his comments, but noted that his priority as a team leader was to defend Youkilis.
"Without question, it came out wrong," he said. "I'll be the first one to tell you it sounded like I feel like I'm high and mighty and I'm trying to run everything. Everybody who knows me [knows] that's not the case. I just wanted to make sure I was there for Youk and our whole team was there for Youk and we needed him to be who he is for us to accomplish our goal. Kicking him when he's down, I felt like I needed to be there for him and everybody else needed to be there for him too. It's just I'm a little bit more vocal and the media comes to me when certain things happen, and I was right there, and I was the one that wore it. I'm fine with that.
"I would rather have people calling [into radio stations] saying however they feel [about me] than for me to walk into work and have to look at Kevin Youkilis and have him say, 'Hey, man. He didn't have my back when I needed him the most.' To an extent, I'm proud that I said that because Youk knows now that under any circumstances I'll have his back. That goes for all my teammates. I love them."
Pedroia elaborated on his relationship with the manager, something that he said was incorrectly perceived to be negative due to how well he got along with Terry Franconca.
"I had a meeting with him after I made those comments," Pedroia said. "We had a team meeting and I went in there and talked to him and kind of expressed how I felt. He expressed things about me, and we were great, man.
"I said that throughout the year, but in New York, the last weekend of the year I had broken one of my fingers. It was a day that I couldn't play and he kind of sat me down and told me some great things that I appreciated: How to get better, be a better leader. I really appreciated it."
Pedroia said it was in that discussion that the two touched on Valentine's uncertain future with the team, with Pedroia telling the manager he would have liked for him to return.
"He kind of told me, 'Listen, I don't know if I'm going to be back next year, but I hope I am. I hope we can give this another try. We'll do a lot of things differently,' and I said the same thing. I said, 'You know what? So would I.' That was kind of the last time I spoke to him.
"After they made the decision to fire him, I texted Bobby and told him thank you for the year and sorry that we didn't accomplish our goals, but I just wanted to tell him I appreciated the things he said to me to make me a better player."
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Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
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