Things hit yet another low on Tuesday when a Yahoo! Sports report came out stating that Red Sox players went to ownership in an attempt to get Valentine fired before his first season as skipper even came to a close.
Valentine responded 24 hours later on WEEI’s The Big Show, and he definitely admitted that the first season has been a struggle, particularly when it comes to communicating with players and others in the organization and shaping the culture of the club the way he wants to.
The skipper was asked whether or not he thinks the Red Sox have a “productive structure” in place at this point. His response was honest, if nothing else.
“I think it really needs fine-tuning,” he stated to WEEI.
He also sounded a bit confused when asked about what exactly that means, at least in terms of what he can do to help with some of that fine-tuning.
“They might have brought me into adjust some of the culture that was existing,” he offered.
“I talked to Bill Belichick about when he first came into the area, and I talked to Doc Rivers. When you come in here and it’s a different culture and change is needed, it’s never easy.”
Valentine insisted that he’s tried to improve upon his communication with his team.
“I’m sure there was a meeting of the minds to make all this stuff happen,” he said of the team meetings. “I just don’t want you to think I show up every day at game time and sit in the corner of the dugout and when the game is over, I fly away on my broomstick.”
However, Valentine did admit that some the problems — at least away from the field — stem from the culture of Boston, and even said that those types of off-field issues are what steer some players from coming to play for the Red Sox.
“From what I gather, it’s what’s happened here,” he said of the drama. “All this noise is one of the reasons that players don’t like to sign here because they don’t have to deal with this in other markets. They don’t have to deal with the ‘drama of the day’ type of situation. They can go out and play baseball.
“What I told [the players] is that this is what we signed up for. We can’t control what goes on out there, but we can control what goes on in here.”
Still, Valentine is taking responsibility for what’s happened with the club this season.
“I don’t wanna say that I want to do things the way I’ve always done,” he told WEEI. “I’m trying to do things the best I can. 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’m totally responsible for the record.”