Earlier this season, Curt Schilling pointed to potential problems that were beginning to bubble up in the Red Sox clubhouse. And we must admit we accused Schilling of just stirring the pot. Because that’s just what Curt Schilling does. But it seems that Schilling’s claims that Red Sox players weren’t buying what new manager Bobby Valentine was selling were spot on.
It also seems that the discontent with Valentine has spread beyond his players to even the coaching staff. So long story short, the Bobby Valentine experiment in Boston seems to have reached its breaking point.
Now despite Valentine normally taking the attitude that everything’s fine, even he has admitted that he’s frustrated.
Valentine has voiced frustration to associates over his lack of communication with members of his coaching staff, especially pitching coach Bob McClure, but also bullpen coach Gary Tuck and bench coach Tim Bogar. McClure said Thursday such reports “are overblown,” noting that he and Valentine spent considerable time before Thursday’s workout discussing the team’s pitching plans in the second half.
Then, there are the signs that no one in the clubhouse cares for Valentine. And there are plenty.
Tuck keeps his communication with Valentine to a minimum. He is known to walk past the manager without so much as a hello.
David Ortiz publicly stated his support recently for the manager, but another respected player on the team said privately that it was all for show. That same player has gone weeks without speaking to Valentine and said that the manager does not have the support of “anyone” in the clubhouse. That is likely an exaggeration — another veteran told a friend he has come around on the manager after initially being shocked at his hire — but Valentine told associates that he knows he is being bad-mouthed in the clubhouse and is at a loss to understand why.
Valentine went out to the mound in Chicago for a visit with his pitcher, and all the infielders joined him for the conference except star second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who remained at his position.
McClure goes to the mound to visit only certain pitchers, while Valentine usually has taken it upon himself to visit the younger pitchers. Valentine has told associates that, at times, McClure tells him little of what was said at the mound; McClure acknowledged that was true, but anytime there was something of significance to report, he always did.
One report says that players are taking their complaints directly to general manager Ben Cherington. Meanwhile, CEO Larry Lucchino, who orchestrated Valentine’s hiring, says that the manager is doing an outstanding job.
We figured that things wouldn’t end well for Valentine in Boston, but we had no idea things would be this bad, this soon.