Ben Cherington Says Bobby Valentine’s Comments Won’t Affect Clubhouse, Agrees With Apology to Kevin Youkilis


Ben Cherington Says Bobby Valentine's Comments Won't Affect Clubhouse, Agrees With Apology to Kevin YoukilisBOSTON — Ben Cherington initiated talks to calm the storm.

Before Monday’s 1-0 loss against the Rays, the Red Sox general manager walked into Bobby Valentine's office to discuss the skipper's poignant comments concerning Kevin Youkilis' subpar start to the season.

Shortly after, he approached the third baseman to listen to his perspective on the incident. After gathering both of the outlooks, Cherington agreed that an apology was warranted from Valentine.

"I think it was appropriate just because something is printed in a way where it doesn't completely accurately reflect his meaning doesn't mean there is an effect of that," Cherington said. "If I was Kevin and I woke up this morning and saw that, it would have got my attention, so I think an apology was appropriate even though it wasn't Bobby's intent to criticize him."

Valentine's words ignited controversy in the clubhouse. Second baseman and team leader Dustin Pedroia voiced his displeasure with his manager's words, essentially saying that behavior wasn't tolerated.

Prior to the showdown against the Rays, Pedroia broached the subject with Valentine. Although he wouldn't divulge the details of the conversation, the All-Star said he was satisfied with the dialogue.

"We're all grown men, and everyone involved in this organization and this team, we're here to have each others' backs for the worst times and the best times," Pedroia said. "So we all pride ourselves on that and make sure that happens."

Although Pedroia delivered a harsh retort to Valentine earlier on Monday, Cherington respected his defense of Youkilis.

"I was pleased and not surprised," Cherington said. "I suspected there would be guys who would speak on Kevin's behalf. They're just being good teammates. The one thing anybody who has been around here knows, and certainly his teammates know, the question of Kevin playing hard or being into a game is just not a question."

The general manager doesn't expect any tension to linger. Having known Youkilis for the majority of his nine-year stint with the Red Sox, Cherington anticipates the 33-year-old will disregard the matter.

"I think Kevin is a professional," Cherington said. "He loves to play. He's committed. He's passionate. I don't think this has any effect other than it took some of his time this morning."

For his part, Youkilis said he wasn't going to sweat the issue.

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