Keeping up with the Red Sox
The Sox are again on a losing streak, and they’ve had more drama than a reality TV family in the past few weeks. From injuries to visits from the past and unaired dirty laundry, there might be more issues in the clubhouse than there are on the field. Here’s a roundup of the recent Red Sox drama:
– Valentine and Middlebrooks fight revealed, manager hints at clubhouse rat
Bobby V told WEEI on Thursday that the only time he’s received a talking to from management regarding communication was back in June when he apparently made a joke (“nice inning, kid”) to Will Middlebrooks after the third baseman had a rough inning. Valentine said he thinks the comment made its way to management via someone who overheard the comment and felt the need to make it known to the higher ups.
“[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,” Valentine told The Big Show, “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.”
Middlebrooks downplayed the incident to WEEI on Wednesday, saying he didn’t even really remember it but that if he had made a couple errors, he was probably pretty angry with himself. He added that the manager is great at keeping things light and never gets angry with his players. For what it’s worth, Sox legend Curt Schilling told WEEI Friday that he would have “taken a swing” at a manager for a comment like that during his time on the field.
– Tito holds court with his former players, causes media storm
By now everyone has heard about Terry Francona‘s impromptu visit to the Red Sox clubhouse while the team was playing the Yankees and Francona was in New York for TV work. Francona pulled up a chair and had a long chat with some players. As one might expect, the news of Tito’s appearance became highly publicized and quickly became the day’s top story. What followed was a big Red Sox win at Yankee Stadium and an apology from Francona to Valentine. According to a post from WEEI, Francona appeared on New York radio’s The Michael Kay Show and spoke about his visit and the uproar it caused.
“It was comfortable,” Francona said of his visit. “I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a while, and I felt like it’s been long enough now that I could sit there and talk to them for a little bit, and it wouldn’t be a big deal. But I think I was wrong.”
He apologized to Valentine via text message for the visit and the uproar it caused, and said the current Sox manager was great about it. Valentine later said the apology was unnecessary, but that he did appreciate it.
– Injury update
David Ortiz was able to participate in agility drills Thursday at Fenway, according to Over the Monster. However, he still needs to successfully complete more strenuous running drills before he can return to play. He’ll miss the rest of the Twins series but it looks like he’s a few days away from returning from the Achilles strain.
Josh Beckett is still questionable for Sunday’s start following back spasms he experienced on Tuesday. It’s likely that in the event Beckett isn’t good to go by Sunday, Franklin Morales will step in.
Tim Britton of The Providence Journal reports that Daisuke Matsuzaka is expected to start Sunday for Triple-A Pawtucket against Lehigh Valley at McCoy Stadium. He threw 47 pitches in 2 1/3 innings in his first rehab outing and is expected to throw closer to 80 or 90 pitches this time, according to Valentine. In other rehab news, Andrew Bailey threw his second inning in the Gulf Coast League on Friday, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two in one inning and is expected to pitch again on Sunday.