Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine Agree Change Was Needed Inside Clubhouse

by

Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine Agree Change Was Needed Inside ClubhouseBOSTON — It was a simple question, one that required a
simple answer.

But that question triggered a passive-aggressive exchange with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine regarding the dynamic in the Red Sox
clubhouse.

As Valentine processed the blockbuster trade with the
Dodgers — sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick
Punto
west — in front of a sea of reporters Saturday, he was asked whether
change was necessary.

"Yes," Valentine said.

In what sense?

"That
it was necessary."

Why?

"Just
didn't seem like it mixed as well it should."

Reading
between the lines, Valentine offered hints of the discord within the clubhouse.
But to cover his tracks, the skipper backtracked and insinuated that the four
players dealt weren't responsible for the lack of chemistry.

Now,
the torch has been officially passed to Valentine. When the Red Sox hired him
last December to replace Terry Francona, it was the organization's way
of turning the page — sort of.

Boston's
brass had an opportunity to clean house at the time but failed to go completely in that
direction. Red Sox general manager Ben
Cherington
didn't try to pinpoint the problems.

"It
didn't work out," Cherington said. "There's not one reason for it.
Injuries played a role, as did other things. It just got to the point where
change was needed, so this is part of that change, the first step towards that
change."

It
was simply addition by subtraction. By jettisoning the hefty payroll that came with
Beckett, Gonzalez and Crawford, the Red Sox eliminated financial
restrictions, purged themselves of clubhouse distractions and can rebuild — the right way.

"It's
change," Valentine said. "That's why I was hired, 'cause change is
necessary. When you get an opportunity for change, you change and see if that's
the change you needed."

That
isn't quite a simple answer.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to
him via Twitter at @DidierMorais
or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every
week for his mailbag.

Picked For You