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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pedroia: Sox not trying to get manager fired

“I don’t think Bobby should be fired,” he said. “Listen, we haven’t played well. I mean, that’s the bottom line. I’m not going to blame anything on Bobby, and I don’t think anyone else is. It’s on the players. Last year wasn’t on Tito [Francona]. I know he took it hard. We all did. I mean, jeez. It’s on the players.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 15, 2012 at 07:55 AM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 15, 2012 at 08:04 AM (#4208587)
It just comes naturally.
   2. Joey B. Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4208610)
Valentine might be an obnoxious jerk, but Pedroia has turned into the Dwight Howard of MLB: a dishonest, untrustworthy, backstabbing little weasel.
   3. mathesond Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4208614)
Of course they're not. Who could possibly think such a thing?
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4208618)
Valentine might be an obnoxious jerk, but Pedroia has turned into the Dwight Howard of MLB: a dishonest, untrustworthy, backstabbing little weasel.


What specifically are you basing this on?
   5. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4208621)
"THE VERY IDEA!"

That's some serious pearl clutching right there. Quick- to the fainting couch!
   6. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4208633)
What specifics do we have on Howard? "Coach-killer" doesn't often come with irrefutable evidence.
   7. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4208635)
Based on what I've seen in the past few weeks:

(a) Lackey carrying two beer cans around the clubhouse was a sign of open disrespect for Valentine. Except it was on the road, and Valentine has only banned beer at Fenway.

(b) Players wanted Valentine fired because, among other things, he left Lester in to give up 11 runs. Except Lester understood it to be what was needed because Valentine didn't want the bullpen spent before the trip to Texas. (Five relievers had pitched the day before.)

(c) Pedroia had a photo making fun of Valentine, which shows open disrespect for Valentine. Except that Pedroia has pulled pranks rather publicly on both Francona and Ortiz in the past, and nobody has alleged anything but his utmost respect for them.

(d) Meetings between players and ownership about the way things are going is a highly unusual thing. Except even Terry Francona has admitted this is something the Red Sox have been doing regularly for several years, regardless of whether the team is doing good or bad.

(e) Consternation is constant in the Red Sox clubhouse. Yet it's the reporters who aren't there regularly who are breaking the news. The folks who are in the clubhouse every day either aren't seeing it, or aren't seeing it as news.

I have no doubt that someone wants Valentine fired, and it's certainly possible it's one or more players - although it wouldn't surprise me if coaches or non-team personnel are behind it. Regardless, it seems about half of what we have here is actual evidence, and the other half is generic stuff being spun as evidence.

So are things being made out as worse than they are? Are the generic events being spun as damning evidence because nobody is going on the record with actual damning evidence, and this is the only way the media can report it? I've no idea. Generally when I see stuff advanced beyond its merits it doesn't mean the person doing so has no valid argument; rather it means the person doing so is insecure in their argument. So as I say, I'm sure there are folks who want Valentine fired, and there could be merit to such an argument; but whoever is doing it isn't comfortable making the case on the real evidence. (Protecting sources? Nobody on the record? Weak evidence? Personal vendetta? I don't know.)

(FWIW, I'm not basing any of this on Pedroia's comments. He could still be completely lying, and surreptitiously orchestrating Valentine's ouster, while all this other stuff is being thrown around.)
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4208638)
"We're not trying to get him fired. We're trying to get him tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a one-way train."
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4208639)
What specifics do we have on Howard?


There is Van Gundy's public revelations on the matter.

There were also many sourced reports about the Howard matter. Do we have these about Pedroia? My post was a sincere question - not an implied denial.
   10. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4208664)
I believe we're going to hear all sorts of revelations - if the Valentine era ends this way, I'm about 95% sure that he'll write a book about it. Is "The Worst Team that Money Can Buy" taken as a title?

Also, I believe the "coach-killer" label will follow Pedroia, Gonzalez, and a few others around for the rest of their careers. Any uncomplimentary leaks will be assumed to be them until proven otherwise.
   11. JJ1986 Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4208667)
"The Worst Team that Money Can Buy"


That was the '92 Mets.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4208672)
vi -

What about the text message? The core contention of Passan's report, the thing that makes it a story, is the multiply-sourced claim that Adrian Gonzalez sent a text message to the owners, on behalf of himself and other players, complaining about Bobby Valentine. That's wholly unusual, and it is what leads to the inferences that relatively not-unusual items (b) through (e) are linked to players wanting Valentine gone and trying to get him gone.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4208687)
The Worst Team Money Could Buy by Bob Klapisch and John Harper.

This is the Worst Team From a Fried Chicken Thigh?
   14. Fanshawe Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4208697)
I don't think he should be fired, I just wanted to have a meeting with his boss where I talked about how terrible he is and how nobody likes him.
   15. Danny Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4208718)
(c) Pedroia had a photo making fun of Valentine, which shows open disrespect for Valentine. Except that Pedroia has pulled pranks rather publicly on both Francona and Ortiz in the past, and nobody has alleged anything but his utmost respect for them.

Pedroia taking and distributing a sarcastic picture of himself in front of his sleeping, embattled manager who he has openly feuded with, using a caption of "Our manager contemplating his lineup at 3:30 p.m.," is not really a "prank."
   16. asinwreck Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4208723)
Cutbacks in newsrooms lead to punctuation errors. The correct headline is Pedroia: Sox not trying, to get manager fired
   17. Recalcitrant Nate Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4208726)
Not a Sox fan here, but I can't help but see that this has been a problem since ownership went over the GM to hire the manager they preferred over the one(s) the GM wanted to hire. That screams bad ending for somebody.
   18. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4208730)
The core contention of Passan's report, the thing that makes it a story, is the multiply-sourced claim that Adrian Gonzalez sent a text message to the owners, on behalf of himself and other players, asking that Valentine be fired. That's wholly unusual, and it is what leads to the inferences that relatively not-unusual items (b) through (e) are linked to players wanting Valentine gone and trying to get him gone.

It is wholly unusual. It also appears untrue.

Go back to the Passan article. Nowhere does he say the text message from Gonzalez asks for Valentine to be fired. It just says the text expressed dissatisfaction with the way Lester was treated. Other articles are sourced from Passan.

See? This is what I'm getting at. Unless I'm missing something, this is kind of Chris Truby / Albert Belle territory. People are making inferences based on inferences based on inferences, and next thing you know Adrian Gonzalez's texts claim Bobby Valentine killed Johnny Pesky.
   19. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4208736)
Being a NYY fan of a certain age, I'd like to thank the Sox for all the memories of the Billy, George, and Reggie years.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4208738)
They sent a text message to the owner complaining about the manager. (That's what my post says now, I fixed it three minutes after I posted because I realized I'd gotten it wrong.)

Going over the manager's head, to complain about him directly to the owners, is undoubtedly unusual. It's extremely hard for me to understand what the point of such a complaint so directed is, unless it's to get Valentine fired.
   21. Dan Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4208741)
Bobby Valentine killed Johnny Pesky


You heard it here first, folks!
   22. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4208749)
#13 made me look up that team. If there were preseason ZIPS back then, I assume that they would have been a favorite to win 90, not lose 90.
   23. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4208865)
Going over the manager's head, to complain about him directly to the owners, is undoubtedly unusual. It's extremely hard for me to understand what the point of such a complaint so directed is, unless it's to get Valentine fired.
It is unusual that we hear about it. Whether it is an unusual occurrence behind the scenes, or behind the scenes with this particular team, or with this ownership group - a group that regularly meets with players just to see how everything is going - we don't know.

Two things, though:

Gonzalez can't text an owner unless said owner gave out his cell phone number, right? Is it your contention, then, that the number was given out with the intent of only being solicited for appeals to fire the manager? I assume you'd think that to be ludicrous. If there were other reasons the number was given out, it follows that there could be other reasons Gonzalez would use it. It's likely it was given out with the intent that Gonzalez reach out anytime he wants. More specifically, given how quickly everything unraveled last September it might have been given out with the suggestion that Gonzalez reach out any time he sees something that bothers him, so ownership can step in before small problems become big problems. This would appear to be such a case: players are upset about how Lester was treated, and some players are fed up.

It has still not been said, or suggested, in source articles that Gonzalez wanted Valentine fired. It said he texted ownership, which prompted a meeting Gonzalez was very vocal at, and at which some unnamed players expressed they didn't want to play for Valentine any more. If Gonzalez were, say, taking a leadership role in the interest of team harmony, wouldn't you expect him to reach out to management? Wouldn't you expect him to be vocal at such a meeting? The parts attributed to Gonzalez could be leadership in any direction, positive or negative. And there is nothing prior to the Passan article to suggest Gonzalez and Valentine don't get along.
   24. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4208874)
Gonzalez can't text an owner unless said owner gave out his cell phone number, right? Is it your contention, then, that the number was given out with the intent of only being solicited for appeals to fire the manager? I assume you'd think that to be ludicrous. If there were other reasons the number was given out, it follows that there could be other reasons Gonzalez would use it. It's likely it was given out with the intent that Gonzalez reach out anytime he wants. More specifically, given how quickly everything unraveled last September it might have been given out with the suggestion that Gonzalez reach out any time he sees something that bothers him, so ownership can step in before small problems become big problems. This would appear to be such a case: players are upset about how Lester was treated, and some players are fed up.



This is ludicrous. I have access to all of the management of my company's personal cell phones, which I would call in case of a real emergency.
   25. Jittery McFrog Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4208891)
Sox not trying to get manager fired

...out of cannon; catapult will suffice.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 15, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4208939)
Meetings between players and ownership about the way things are going is a highly unusual thing. Except even Terry Francona has admitted this is something the Red Sox have been doing regularly for several years, regardless of whether the team is doing good or bad.

It's one thing to have a regularly scheduled ownership-players meeting in spring training or even at a set time in the regular season, but calling a special meeting at the request of some players to discuss their grievances with the Manager, while excluding the Manager from the meeting, would seem to be something quite different, and highly unusual.
   27. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 15, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4208948)
They may not be trying to get the manager fired, but their normal efforts are proving very effective.

Pedroia taking and distributing a sarcastic picture of himself in front of his sleeping, embattled manager who he has openly feuded with, using a caption of "Our manager contemplating his lineup at 3:30 p.m.," is not really a "prank


This is an extremely unlikeable group of individuals, for the most part, manager and players included. Lester, Beckett, Pedroia, Ortiz, Valentine, Gonzalez (nice first half, Adrian).....I don't think I would go as far as to compare Pedroia to Dwight Howard. Almost no one is as loathsome as Howard.
   28. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4208973)
This is ludicrous. I have access to all of the management of my company's personal cell phones, which I would call in case of a real emergency.
You have Bob Iger's cellphone number? It's not that Gonzalez texted Cherington, or any of his assistants. He texted ownership. He went to the top.

Still, you're making my point. Those numbers were made available to you in case you needed to get their attention right away for whatever reason, not just so that you could get a middle manager fired. If you texted one of them to bring to their attention an urgent matter that involves a middle manager, it wouldn't necessarily be because you are trying to get that manager fired. Right?
   29. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4208983)
It's one thing to have a regularly scheduled ownership-players meeting in spring training or even at a set time in the regular season, but calling a special meeting at the request of some players to discuss their grievances with the Manager, while excluding the Manager from the meeting, would seem to be something quite different, and highly unusual.


Is it even clear that the meeting was specifically to address grievances with Valentine? There's so much innuendo and fudging of specifics that it's hard to tell.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4208994)
This is the central section of Passan's reporting:
The owners called the meeting for Boston's off-day in New York on July 26 after first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, texting on behalf of himself and some teammates, aired their dissatisfaction with Valentine for embarrassing starting pitcher Jon Lester by leaving him in to allow 11 runs during a July 22 start. It was the latest incident in a season's worth of bad relations bubbling between Red Sox players and Valentine.

Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia were among the most vocal in the meeting, in which some players stated flatly they no longer wanted to play for Valentine, the sources said. The tenor of the 2 p.m. meeting at The Palace hotel in New York turned ugly almost immediately, according to the sources, whom Yahoo! Sports granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about internal matters.
   31. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 15, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4209002)
Thanks. It doesn't specifically link the meeting to the dissatisfaction (merely that it happened "after") but it's close enough. Maybe I'm parsing it too closely.
   32. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4209003)
It's one thing to have a regularly scheduled ownership-players meeting in spring training or even at a set time in the regular season, but calling a special meeting at the request of some players to discuss their grievances with the Manager, while excluding the Manager from the meeting, would seem to be something quite different, and highly unusual.
Yes it's unusual for players to contact the owner midseason to air grievances, as far as I know.

The end of the 2011 season was also unusual, and have resulted in many changes in how the team does business. One of the problems cited with last fall was that, while all the clubhouse crap was going on, ownership had no idea about it. Whether that was usual or unusual I don't know, but it doesn't seem unusual when corporate owners find they were unaware of fundamental problems in how the business was operating that they demand employees keep them better informed going forward.

That aside... The citation of "unusual" in this instance was to justify the notion that there is no other plausible explanation of the text than that Gonzalez tried to get Valentine fired. We can debate whether anything is usual or unusual if you wish, but my point earlier was that "unusual" does not imply "FIRE HIM!!". Is that in dispute?
   33. asinwreck Posted: August 15, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4209011)
Even if John Henry does not give his number to every player on the roster, it's quite likely that Adrian Gonzalez -- or at least his agent -- has it given the wooing during the trade from San Diego and subsequent contract extension.
   34. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 15, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4209015)
Meetings between players and ownership about the way things are going is a highly unusual thing. Except even Terry Francona has admitted this is something the Red Sox have been doing regularly for several years, regardless of whether the team is doing good or bad.

It's one thing to have a regularly scheduled ownership-players meeting in spring training or even at a set time in the regular season, but calling a special meeting at the request of some players to discuss their grievances with the Manager, while excluding the Manager from the meeting, would seem to be something quite different, and highly unusual.


There was also just an article about Cherington that was highlighting how the players all thought he was very accessible and easy to talk to. Was the text sent to him or to Henry? Has that come out? The meeting may not have been usual, but if the culture of the clubhouse is one of openness then I don't find the meeting shocking in any way.
   35. What Zupcic? Posted: August 15, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4209089)
Why do we believe Passan's anonymous sources over Gonzalez, Pedroia, and Henry all agreeing that:

1. Henry called the meeting, not the players
2. they've (Pedroia and Gonzalez) had an issue a while back with Bobby V but things are fine between them now.
3. This season, by the players account, is solely the fault of the players

I get that it's fun to imagine the Sox org as some sort of zoo (a zoo that is somehow simultaneously organizing a unified team/management PR response?), but I find:
-Henry organized a series of meetings, as he has done numerous times, to get a feel for what issues need to be addressed. Some of Bobby Vs actions, among a whole multitude of other things, were brought up

MUCH more believable than:
-A group of grown men wrote a text message together to the owner of the team to organize a meeting in which they could complain about how mean Bobby V was to Jon Lester.

Bobby V is pretty crazy and the Red Sox are terrible so when the likes of Olney and Passan take innocuous things and infer huge DRAMA, fans are ready to believe it. SOMEONE MUST BE BURNT! I just find it disappointing that the Yahoo report, written by a guy who makes his living off of feeding the sports news cycle citing no named sources, is being taken at face value while everything anyone else says is shot down as a dysfunctional organization trying to make excuses.
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 15, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4209107)
Why do we believe Passan's anonymous sources over Gonzalez, Pedroia, and Henry all agreeing that:

1. Henry called the meeting, not the players
2. they've (Pedroia and Gonzalez) had an issue a while back with Bobby V but things are fine between them now.
3. This season, by the players account, is solely the fault of the players


Well, it would be hard for the players to say "We complained to ownership but were told to shove it, so we're stuck with Valentine for the rest of the season."
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4209124)
MUCH more believable than:
-A group of grown men wrote a text message together to the owner of the team to organize a meeting in which they could complain about how mean Bobby V was to Jon Lester.
No one has denied that the text message happened. This is the Red Sox response. The denials are as follows.

Gonzalez denies only that he was particularly vocal at the meeting:
"The source is inaccurate," Gonzalez told WEEI.com. "He says that I was animated and one of the most vocal guys in the meeting and that's false. If somebody's going to try to be an unnamed source, they better be right with what they say, because this is putting our integrity and everyone about us out there and that's just unfair."
Pedroia denies that he called for Valentine to be fired:
Pedroia on Tuesday night denied he called for Valentine's firing at the meeting.
Henry denied that any of the players called for Valentine to be fired:
"No one in that meeting at any time took the position that Bobby (Valentine) should be or needed to be replaced," Henry wrote in an email to a number of media outlets.
Henry says that the meeting was part of a normal pattern of meetings, and it was called by him:
Henry said the meeting was called at his behest and was similar in tone to roundtable meetings he says he has hosted throughout his tenure as Red Sox owner, meetings he says have often resulted in improvements to "training facilities, protocols, safety, resources, travel issues, clubhouse issues and trust within a cooperative framework."
This could be a denial of the claim that the meeting was spurred by the text message, but the Passan story also said ownership called the meeting. I'd like to see his specific words - as summarized here, the story of how the meeting happened is no different from how Passan characterizes it.

Henry says that the players took responsibility for their play, but they also, well, here are his words:
"Players felt responsible for the record," wrote Henry. "They weren't blaming injuries or anyone but themselves. At the same time they openly spoke about what could improve in addition to their play. They made substantive points. We addressed those points."
That seems like a pretty clear admission that players aired grievances about Valentine at the meeting. Henry could have denied that, he didn't. Henry wants to characterize the meeting as a normal part of the management of the ballclub, wherein ownership speaks with players and management separately in order to get a feel for the situation. It's hard for me to understand what the purpose of separating players from the manager is, unless it's for the players to talk about the manager and vice versa. That seems like a bizarre thing to institute as a normal practice, since it would significantly undercut the authority of the field manager.

It's plausible that this meeting was part of a pattern of meetings in which players and ownership meet to talk about the manager. It's a lot more plausible to me that the players complained about Valentine via text (this has not been denied), and that a meeting was called to figure out what was going on. Complaints about Valentine were aired, which perhaps reached to the level of calling for his firing but perhaps fell short, and the owners decided against it. Players acknowledged their own failures at this meeting, along with lodging these complaints.
   38. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 15, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4209143)
I am with Zupcic to a certain level. While MCoA's points are valid what strikes me about the Passan piece is the lack of any kind of definitive sources. He doesn't even use "sources at the meeting" or "sources close to the players" it was "sources" and "sources familiar with the meeting." I think there are definitely some issues in that clubhouse and in the organization but I feel like this thing has all gone over the top to a ridiculous degree (and I say that as someone who wants Bobby gone).
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4209168)
Why am I relatively open to Passan's narrative?

Because the story of the 2011-2012 Red Sox is weird. These two clubs have underperformed both their pre-season projections and their expected wins by huge margins. Are they just massively unlucky? They might be. If you want to argue the Sox have just been terribly unlucky for two years running, I can't say you're wrong.

I think that's unlikely to explain the full extent of the weirdness of 2011-2012, and I'm looking for other explanations. The idea that the Sox have underperformed because of various clubhouse tensions leading willy-nilly to a variety of types of poor performance seems very plausible in this context. This is particularly true because Passan's article is hardly the first to outline dysfunction in the clubhouse and within management.
   40. What Zupcic? Posted: August 15, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4209175)
Well, it would be hard for the players to say "We complained to ownership but were told to shove it, so we're stuck with Valentine for the rest of the season."


haha, true. I could have said that better. Yes they took the blame like most would do in these circumstances but I think that the players specifically went out of their way to mention that Bobby V is a good manager is telling. If they hated Bobby V but were just covering for themselves, I don't think they would have said that.

MCOA, there's a story up on WEEI that says:

Gonzalez said it was owner John Henry who organized the meeting


Not a direct quote and sure it could have been, like you say, in response to players whining to John Henry via text but I find the 'ownership, per common practice, exploring issues on a struggling team' a much more believable scenario than 'JH responds to text barrage.'

I also don't deny that Bobby V was almost certainly brought up as an issue but there's a big difference between a meeting organized by JH to explore any and all problems with the Sox in which players complain about Bobby V occasionally causing them grief in the media, and players organizing a meeting explicitly to complain about Bobby V/demand he be fired.

It feels like the Bobby V is crazy/2011 collapse into disappointing 2012 narrative has been written and this article is the latest in the long line of jamming any an all remotely applicable stories into that narrative.
   41. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 15, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4209176)
I have access to all of the management of my company's personal cell phones, which I would call in case of a real emergency.
EMERGENCY! Bobby Valentine is a big meanie and he was a big meanie to Jon Lester!
   42. Walt Davis Posted: August 15, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4209177)
If there were preseason ZIPS back then, I assume that they would have been a favorite to win 90, not lose 90.

Hey Dan, this might be a fun little ZiPS project -- "pre-season" ZiPS for major surprises and diappointments with a little history of why they deviated and whether those over-/under-performances stuck.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4209182)
Not a direct quote and sure it could have been, like you say, in response to players whining to John Henry via text but I find the 'ownership, per common practice, exploring issues on a struggling team' a much more believable scenario than 'JH responds to text barrage.'
Then why hasn't anyone denied that Gonzalez texted Henry? If that were untrue, wouldn't that be the first thing anyone denied?
   44. What Zupcic? Posted: August 15, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4209189)
Then why hasn't anyone denied that Gonzalez texted Henry?


That's fair. I wish there were more context to the "Gonzalez said it was owner John Henry who organized the meeting" quote.

I read this as Gonzo saying 'woah, I didn't demand any meeting. John Henry set it all up!' whereas you seem to be saying 'John Henry set it up because Gonzo asked him to.' Given the context of the article, I lean towards my interpretation (obviously haha) but anyway, I find it hard to say with certainty that Pedroia, Gonzalez and John Henry denying other parts of Passan's allegations, while neglecting to address who actually asked for the meeting, is an 'AH HA!' moment confirming that the players demanded the meetings. Especially so when Gonzalez and Pedroia are probably really annoyed and speaking off the cuff in live interviews. They're ballplayers, not lawyers.

I do agree with you that the team does have issues and weirdness in results but I find this "evidence" completely unconvincing.
   45. DA Baracus Posted: August 15, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4209190)
Pedroia denies that he called for Valentine to be fired:

Henry denied that any of the players called for Valentine to be fired:


This proves nothing. What do you expect them to say? If Pedroia did call for Valentine to be fired, he's not going to admit it publicly while Valentine is still employed.
   46. What Zupcic? Posted: August 15, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4209194)
Also, from Henry's official statement

About this time eight years ago we had one such meeting. It closely resembled the meeting in New York. Both were meetings I asked for. And both quickly went to the point – what do we need to do to turn things around. We held three meetings in New York – separating groups so as to have frank discussions about what was wrong.


That reads to me like he's denying that the meeting was called at the behest of complaining players. 'Meetings JH asked for to find out what needs to be done to turn things around.' That's proactive, not responsive.
   47. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4209197)
I find it much more plausible that the Red Sox are running damage control and spinning as hard as they can. This all reads like spin to me. I'm open to waiting and seeing, but I'd bet on Passan with significant odds.
   48. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: August 15, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4209203)
a) I think, reading the words carefully, that it's entirely possible that the players said "Valentine is a big meanie!" and Henry said, "That's it - meeting time!"

My presence in these threads probably belies this, but I find this stuff genuinely distasteful. King Felix's game today (I managed to watch most of it) reminds me of why I love baseball.
   49. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 15, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4209218)
Because the story of the 2011-2012 Red Sox is weird. These two clubs have underperformed both their pre-season projections and their expected wins by huge margins. Are they just massively unlucky? They might be. If you want to argue the Sox have just been terribly unlucky for two years running, I can't say you're wrong.


Well, for the majority of 2011 they were exactly what we thought they would be. Perhaps a bit streaky but on September 1 they were a first place team looking at 97-98 wins when the pitching fell apart in large part to injury. That is why in the immediate aftermath of game 162 I advocated minimal change.

I think there were legitimate reasons to let Tito go but a tweak rather than an overhaul was called for. I felt and still feel that beer and fried chicken was overblown.

Having said that I think you're right that Passan is more right than wrong about 2012.I think the general sense of some kind of disharmony is true I just think its gone overboard in the way it's being reported.
   50. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: August 15, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4209220)
Also, as a Yankee fan, I hope that they give Bobby V a lifetime contract. Gold!
   51. Koot Posted: August 15, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4209224)
I just find it disappointing that the Yahoo report, written by a guy who makes his living off of feeding the sports news cycle citing no named sources, is being taken at face value while everything anyone else says is shot down as a dysfunctional organization trying to make excuses.


This. I get so frustrated when a story comes out with unnamed sources filled with drama is taken as the truth. Especially when the people named in the story dispute the details of the story and actually put their name to it. Last year with the Yankees and Posada allegedly throwing a temper tantrum when he was dropped to ninth in the line up. Mid-game, an unnamed source said he threw a temper tantrum. Postgame, Girardi and Posada both said that was not the truth. The story was still reported from there on out that he threw a temper tantrum, and he should be more like Jeter.
   52. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: August 15, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4209229)
The problem, Koot, is one of incentive. "Alone" in the clubhouse, Passan doesn't have team harmony or personal loyalty in his head. We hope. Statements from the other particulars might have another agenda completely. The problem is that the media is distrusted. Trades for "access" happen with increasing, horrible frequency.

That said, I have no reason to distrust Passan directly. With respect to your views, we all see these controversies with our own blinders and biases. Passan is trained to be aware of these, and avoid them.

*EDIT*

I like to think that MCoA and I have extremely similar worldviews, yet we manage to see all of the Yankees and Red Sox controversies completely differently.
   53. Koot Posted: August 15, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4209238)
There's no reason to distrust Passan, but, he is benefiting from this report (his name has been out there more today than it probably had in a long time). And, I give him credit for not putting this story out there until he was able to get a few sources (although unnamed) to confirm the meeting. It's just tough because, no one's disputing the meeting, just some of the details and the overall tone of the meeting. Tone of the meeting can be interpreted differently depending on who you're talking to. But, it's just so frustrating that the account of the meeting that someone will put their name to is treated like fiction compared to the version of the meeting that no one will put their name to.
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 15, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4209282)
I like to think that MCoA and I have extremely similar worldviews, yet we manage to see all of the Yankees and Red Sox controversies completely differently.
This does seem basically true, yeah. I wonder if that has anything at all to do with our fan allegiances...

Though in this case, it seems like we're seeing things pretty similarly.
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4209303)
Any word on which players weren't at the meeting? Should non-attendance be taken as a sign of support for Valentine, or were the non-attendees marginal players who, perhaps wisely, thought they didn't really have the standing to take sides in the dispute? The worst outcome might be permanent pro & anti-Valentine factions, along with pro & anti-Tito factions, lingering long after both have gone.
   56. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4209310)
With respect to your views, we all see these controversies with our own blinders and biases. Passan is trained to be aware of these, and avoid them.


Hardly - Passan brings his own set of blinders and biases. I'd doubt he's trained in much of anything besides writing a story that attracts eyeballs. That's all the training required for his job these days.
   57. Srul Itza Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4209329)
From CBS Sportsline Gametracker:

ALERT Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Valentine of the Boston Red Sox have been ejected in the 8th inning by HP umpire Mike Everitt for arguing.


With each other?
   58. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4209396)
With each other?
With Everitt. Gonzalez thought he was quick-pitched, complained to the ump on the way back to the dugout, complained some more, and got tossed. Valentine came out from the dugout immediately after that, argued with Everitt, and also got tossed.

At least Valentine and Gonzalez got to spend some quality time together in the clubhouse!

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