On Wednesday, however, Valentine downplayed any criticisms from coming in-house — save for one instance involving Will Middlebrooks.
Valentine told WEEI’s the Big Show that team ownership approached him only once this season about his communication with the players, after being overly sarcastic to the Sox third baseman.
“[Ownership] heard when Will Middlebrooks made two errors in a game and he came off of the field and got into the dugout, ” Valentine recounted. “I said, ‘Nice inning, Will,’ and that maybe that upset him.”
Middlebrooks, to his credit, appeared to have brushed off his managers remarks. When approached by the radio station for comment, the third baseman admitted that he didn’t remember any incident and gave Valentine positive marks for his managerial style.
“He’s good about that,” Middlebrooks said. “He keeps things pretty light. He’s never angry or mad at you. He knows you’re playing hard and doing the things that matter.
“I’m still new to this level,” the 23-year-old continued. “He’s teaching me a lot.”
Despite that support from his third baseman, Valentine backtracked on his comments on Thursday for opening up a can of worms. He characterized the comments as the “stupidest thing [he’s] said on radio” before re-hashing the tale to provide more context.