Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio station WEEI on Wednesday afternoon and spent most of his 20-minute interview answering questions relating to a Yahoo! Sports report that players had called for his head at a late July meeting.
Valentine said he wasn’t sure whether it was the players who demanded a meeting with ownership or whether the meeting was ownership’s idea, but said that doesn’t mean he’s out of touch with his team.
“I just don’t want you to think that I show up every day at game time and I sit in the corner of the dugout and when the game is over I fly away on my broomstick,” Valentine told WEEI. “I’m here at 2 o’clock. I’m continuously talking with guys. We’ll talk about their stance or their pitch grip or the catcher’s signs or anything else they want to talk about.”
He was asked specifically whether he feels ownership has empowered him to do what he needs to do as manager.
“I’m trying to do things as best I can,” Valentine said. "At the end of the day, teams are judged by their record. The record is not where we want it to be right now. I am totally responsible for the record.”
He later added: “We’re three games under .500, and that’s my problem.”
When asked whether he has had to adjust his managerial style because of a perceived lack of support from ownership, Valentine did not directly answer, instead speaking generally about still trying to figure things out 117 games into his first season as Sox manager.
“I’m not a dummy. I go through things with open eyes,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out -- and again, this is four months into a very trying situation -- I’m trying to figure out what does work best to get the results we need.”
The drama surrounding this Red Sox team has been a constant throughout the season. Valentine was asked whether he thought all the noise has been a distraction for the players.
“From what I gather, it’s what happens here,” he said. “One of the things I was discussing with one of the players was that all of this noise or whatever is one of the reasons why players don’t like to sign here. They don't have to deal with it in other markets, they don’t have to deal with the drama-of-the-day type of situation, that they can just go out and play baseball. But what I said to them is, ‘Hey, this is what we all signed up for. We’re not going to change the outside situation but we can definitely change the internal situation.’”
Is it a climate that’s conducive to winning?
“I think it really needs fine tuning,” Valentine said. “They might have brought me in to adjust some of the culture that was existing.”
He added: “When you come in and there’s a different culture and change is needed, it’s never easy.”