“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,”
Maybe Valentine was being honest. Maybe Valentine was trying to motivate Youkilis. Maybe we'll never know but for as much as I like to complain about Youkilis to my friend Harper about his being a whiner, I would never say that Youkilis is not into the game emotionally or physically.
Youkilis represents that type of blue collar, down to earth, get dirt on your uniform everyday kind of player that the Red Sox nation seems to embrace whether they are hitting .350 or hitting .225. Another such player chimed in with his own comments. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had the following to say:
“I really don’t know what Bobby is trying to do,..That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here. He’ll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk. We have each other’s backs here."
For his part, Youkilis said that he was confused by the comments and spoke to Valentine preferring to leave the comments made by both parties behind closed doors. Valentine apparently apologized to Youkilis.
Coming off of a turbulent offseason, the Red Sox players seem to be circling the wagons. Valentine is replacing a beloved players manager in Terry Francona who many feel (including myself) that he shouldn't have been dismissed from his managerial duties. Valentine is replacing a man who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series Championship in 2004 and 2007.
A few days ago former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had some reservations on the hiring of Bobby Valentine as Red Sox manager. He was quoted as saying "I just feel like this is not going to go the way people had hoped," Though he took some flack in the Boston media and from some of the Red Sox players, if Bobby Valentine keeps making comments that might alienate fan favorites, Schilling's comments might not be that far off.
For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access CBS Boston's article Valentine: Youkilis Not As ‘Physically Or Emotionally Into The Game’ dated April 16, 2012
- Click Here to access Brian MacPherson's blogpost Kevin Youkilis' response to Bobby Valentine's comments from the Providence Journal website dated April 16, 2012
- Click Here to access the ESPN article Bobby Valentine fires back dated April 3, 2012