Bobby V: 'I've done the best I can do here'

In his column calling for the Red Sox to bring back embattled Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, Ian O'Connor of ESPNNY.com relates a conversation he had with Valentine before Sunday night's game at Yankee Stadium in which Valentine accepts blame for the Red Sox's struggles, says he's worked as hard as he could and calls his job "as tough a job as you can have."

Here's an excerpt:

"I've done a lot of work; I couldn't do any more," Valentine said in a private moment outside his clubhouse. "I don't think I could've worked any harder. I probably could've done some things differently, I guess, but I don't know what they are. I'll appraise it and I'll look back on it."

As he spoke, Valentine, 62, appeared worn to the nub from the nonstop noise around him.

"I've had two days off since Dec. 3 and that's my fault, since I didn't take them off," he said. "But this is as tough a job as you can have."

Valentine was asked if this rebuilding job was tougher than the New York Mets' rebuilding job he took over in 1996.

"I came from the minor leagues with the Mets, so I already knew faces and names," he answered. "I knew nothing here, and I like to know everything. I don't know the stadium ops people that come out on the field, and it's uncomfortable sometimes.

"But I've done the best I can do here, and that's all I can ask of myself. I would do anything to change the numbers. I'd sell my soul."