On Bobby V's big interview

845867.jpg

On Bobby V's big interview

If you havent listened to Bobby Valentines interview from this afternoons Big Show, please do so right now. Come back when youre done. I promise to wait.

Now, a few highlights:

First of all, and be honest: Who amongst us hasnt at some point wanted to punch Glenn Ordway in the mouth? Speak now or never again criticize Valentines completely natural and understandable threat.

Second, putting aside the hysterics for a second, I think Valentine made a ton of sense in this interview.

His explanation for extending Alfredo Aceves workload (an act that was characterized as a vengeful attack on the pitchers well-being) was entirely sound.

He wasnt my closer at the time," Valentine said. Since Andrew Bailey has been back, weve been trying to stretch Alfredo out to see if we can lengthen, and general manager Ben Cherington and I talked about the possible chance of lengthening him out, to get more pitches thrown so that possibly if we needed a starter, he could jump into that rotation given our starting group is running a little thin. Is that a good reason for pitching him what would be 100 pitches in a game, I actually did it over that weeks span?

I agree with his stance that the beat guys who saw him get to the ballpark late in Oakland should have asked what the deal was especially if they planned on reporting it.

When I walked into the clubhouse with my son, the press was already in the clubhouse. You would think that one of these incompetent people would say, or ask a question, Hey, why is it 4 oclock . . . and, you know, 4 oclock, like thats so late for a 7:15 game. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon gets there every day at 4 oclock, just for the record when I walked in and someone is going to write that, wouldnt you think that theyd say, Hey why is it that you just got to the ballpark? Youre usually here at 2. Why are you here today at 4? And I could have introduced them to my son, and explained to them about the flight that was delayed because of the fog, and that I was waiting at the San Francisco Airport and that his phone had died and I had no way of letting him know I wasnt going to be there.

OK, maybe its a little ridiculous that the son Valentine was waiting for at the airport is 29 years old; the kidman obviously could have made it to the stadium by himself. But at the same time, I get it. He wanted to be there for his son. And if what he said about Joe Maddon is true, then Valentine wasnt even late. (Although that doesn't change the fact that he has an unhealthy obsession with Maddon.)

He also shed light on some of the reasons he believes things went so wrong from the start this season. He makes it clear that he didn't really know what he was getting himself into, and that a lack communication within the organization made it far more difficult to grasp the situation. Which makes sense, because that exactly how it looked for those first few months.

When youre planning the game plan," he said, "you have to get the scouts' information and the players' information, medical information, coaches' information, and then get a game plan together. Unfortunately, when you do it on the fly, its hard to decipher where the good information comes from.

For almost 25 minutes, Valentine was completely honest with Holley and the Big O. Of course, he was also insanely defensive, combative and, at times, borderline loopy.

And you know what? I don't blame him.

Say what you will about Bobby V. The guy's certainly made his mistakes, and most likely deserves to be fired. But I don't know how anyone can stay sane working in that environment.

Can you imagine what it feels like to have a conversation with your GM, in which you decide to begin the process of converting a reliever into a starter and then everyone accuses you of trying to end the guy's career? Honestly, how psychotic is that?

Or to show up three hours before a game, and have everyone write about how you were late?

Can you imagine what it's like working under Larry Lucchino? Hell, Lucchino drove Theo Epstein so crazy that he ended up running away from Fenway Park in a gorilla suit.

Forget Bobby V., I don't see how anyone can do it. Or would want to. Not until a lot more than Josh Beckett's name plate is removed from Fenway Park.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

world_series_francona_epstein_102416.png

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

BOSTON -- At first, 2016 seemed like the “Year of Xander.” It turned out to be the “Year of Mookie,” with Bogaerts dropping off a little as the season progressed.

The Red Sox shortstop saw his average peak at .359 on June 12. At that point he’d played in 61 games, hit eight home runs, 20 doubles and knocked in 44 runs. Although Mookie Betts had six more home runs and three more RBI in that same span, Bogaerts had six more doubles and was hitting 69 points higher.

The two were already locks for the All-Star Game and Bogaerts still had the edge in early MVP talk.

Then things took a turn after the very day Bogaerts saw his average peak.

Over the next 61 games, Bogaerts still managed seven homers, but only had six doubles and 27 RBI, watching his average drop to .307 by the end of that stretch. At first glance, .307 doesn’t seem like an issue, but he dropped 52 points after hitting .253 in that span.

And in his remaining 35 games, Bogaerts only hit .248 -- although he did have six homers.

But throughout it all, Bogaerts never seemed fazed by it. With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a month, Bogaerts still isn’t worried about the peaks and valleys.

“You go through it as a player, the only one’s who don’t go through that are the ones not playing,” Bogaerts told CSNNE.com before the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday. “I just gotta know you’re going to be playing good for sometime, you’re going to be playing bad for sometime.

“Just try to a lot more better times than bad times. It’s just a matter of trusting yourself, trusting your abilities and never doubting yourself. Obviously, you get a lot of doubts when you’re playing bad, but you just be even keeled with whatever situation is presented.”

Bogaerts level head is something often noted by coaches and his teammates, carrying through the days he finds himself lunging left and right for pitches. That’s also carried him through the offseason while maintaining the same preparation from past seasons -- along with putting on some weight.

“I don’t know how much I put on, but I feel strong,” Bogaerts said to CSNNE.com “I mean, I look strong in the mirror.

“Hopefully, I’m in a good position when the season comes because I know I’ll lose [the weight].”