Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.
Bobby Valentine is going to have to deal with plenty of uncertainty over the opening stretch of his first season as Red Sox manager, but he left Saturday's loss making it clear that he has no qualms about supporting Josh Beckett.
Beckett left in the fifth inning as the Red Sox stumbled to a 10-0 loss to the Tigers in Detroit.
While some may be quick to question Beckett's productivity and his role in the Red Sox rotation, Valentine spent his time after the game Saturday saying it was a bad start and that the right-hander made some bad pitches. He didn't do any rewinding to Beckett's tough time last fall, and he didn't blame the loss on Beckett's thumb, which the pitcher still insists is fine (and if not fine, at least not any further injured than it's been in the last year).
Valentine didn't excuse the loss or cover for Beckett, but he did go along with what Beckett said the problem was: just bad pitching.
Beckett is a vital part of the Red Sox' rotation. For all the talk about Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront either deserving or not deserving their spots in the rotation, and all the questions about the bullpen, the front three of Jon Lester, Beckett and Clay Buchholz are supposed to be a given. The Sox need Beckett to be automatic, as he has been before, and to be a guy Boston can lean on.
Valentine, for all the changes he brought in as a new manager, likely knows that. And with all the questions surrounding whether he's going to be a players' manager or hang his guys out to dry, he responded to an early debacle by the whole team the way a manager should. He supported his starting pitcher after one bad start, he blamed the loss on bad performance and he pointed the team forward.
Valentine let his player speak for himself on Saturday, and for that, it was a quiet night as the Red Sox prepare to fight another day.