Lesson learned for Bobby V.

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Lesson learned for Bobby V.

Last night, on the Bobby Valentine Show

Tom Caron: So, Bobby. Hows it been managing a guy like Dustin Pedroia this season? Coachs dream, right?

Valentine: Oh yeah, you know. Dustins been great. Hes really getting out there and leading this club, and really does just about everything you need.

Caron: Yup. That sounds about ri

Valentine: The thing about Dustin, though. Hes just so small.

Caron: OK, th

Valentine: And I think thats going to hurt us at some point this season.

Caron: Umm. Wow, so do y

Valentine: All things being equal, I just like my second basemen a little taller Toby Harrah, Julio Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo. Thats just my preference. So when it comes to that position, well see what we can do about getting a little more size out there.

We now take you live to Fenway Park

Reporters: Bobby! Bobby! Have you spoken with Dustin this morning?

Valentine: Yes, yes. We spoke. And listen, this is such a misunderstanding. I explained that to him, and that was that. Were moving on.

Reporters: Bobby! What do you mean misunderstanding? You said he was too short . . .

Valentine: Guys, listen. You know, this has all been taken the wrong way. Honestly, I just thought I was answering a question. I never knew people would actually listen to the answer! This wasn't my intention, and I told Dustin that. Im not sure if he believes me, but thats the truth.

Reporters: But Bobby

Valentine: Heres the thing that you guys dont get, and what I explained to Dustin. I wasnt saying that hes too short. I said you know he was too small. Yeah, thats it. Its just that sometimes, he just uhh he crouches down a little too much out there. Right? You know, small? Hes ummm he makes himself so much smaller than he really is. And as a former middle infielder, you know, I just, uhhh, that just seems little inefficient. And thats what I meant. Id like him to be a little bit more upright. And moving forward, Im going to do my best to see if we cant get him to play a little taller.

Of course this didnt really happen.

But given the circus we watched unfold yesterday, its not too far-fetched, right?

Oh. It is?

OK, well then lets just move on.

Not back, to what actually happened yesterday, to all the bombs, back-tracking and confusion that filled Fenway Park. That story's way passed overkill anyway, and the truth is that we'll probably never get the truth. My guess is that it falls somewhere between our original assumption and Bobby's BS explanation. That his intentions were neither as malicious as everyone initially thought, nor as innocent as he ultimately claimed. But either way, it's time to move on.

Hell, the Texas Rangers are in town. The two-time defending AL champion Rangers. The 8-2, second-best-record-in-baseball Rangers. Not to mention, despite taking three of four from the Rays, the Sox are still only 4-6. They're still in last place.

This is an enormous series on the horizon, one that dwarfs, or at least should dwarf any petty behind-the-scenes drama between a loose-lipped manager and exceedingly malcontent veteran. So let's treat it that way. Let's put it in the past.

But as part of moving forward, let's also lay out one ground rule for any and all future Bobby Valentine-related drama:

Ignorance is no longer an excuse.

If he wants to keep doing things his way. That's cool. If he wants to lift the veil that Terry Francona had stapled to the floor of that clubhouse, hold players publicly accountable and give Boston and its fans an unfiltered perspective of what he sees in his team. All the power to him.

The Red Sox didn't bring him here to be Francona. For better or worse, they brought him here to be Bobby Valentine. So if Bobby Valentine thinks the best way to get his team to play for him and with each other is to continue making vague and enigmatic statements about his players in the media, then he should. He should do it his way and achieve the success he has planned for himself and this team, or go down guns blazing.

But he should never be surprised by the reaction.

"I never thought this would become a big deal."

"I wasn't trying to be critical."

"I should have said this."

"I really meant that."

It doesn't work. Not anymore. It barely worked yesterday.

If Valentine's as smart and aware as he'd like us to believe, then there's no longer any question in his mind as to what constitutes a "big deal" in Boston, as to what will be taken the wrong way, blown out of proportion and morphed into an immediate and enormous controversy.

Everything will.

He should have known that already. But has to know that now.

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

Patriots-Rams notes: Brady and the defense have record-setting days

Patriots-Rams notes: Brady and the defense have record-setting days

FOXBORO -- Notes from the Patriots' 26-10 win over the Rams Sunday, courtesy of the Pats' P.R. department:

TEAM NOTES

A DEFENSIVE FIRST : The Patriots allowed just 25 total first-half yards to the Rams, the lowest total in a half in team history. The previous low was 28 yards by the Jets in the first half on Dec. 26, 2005 in a 31-25 New England win.

A DEFENSIVE SECOND: The Patriots yielded just 36 yards rushing to the Rams, the second time this season New England has held its opponent to fewer than 40 rushing yards. Cleveland rushed for only 27 yards in Week 5.

BY THE NUMBERS DEFENSIVELY: The Patriots have now held the opposition to less than 20 points in 8 of their 12 games this year, and are allowing just 17.3 ppg.

PATS HIT 10-VICTORY MARK FOR 14TH CONSECUTIVE SEASON: The Patriots are now 10-2 and have won 10 or more games for 14 consecutive season, the second-longest streak in NFL history. The 1983-98 49ers had a 16-year streak

RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE: Tom Brady did not throw an interception Sunday and Patriots QBs have been picked off just once in the first 12 games of the season, an NFL record. The previous record for fewest interceptions thrown in the first 12 games was three, held jointly by the 2016 Vikings, 2015 Chiefs, 1993 Cowboys and 190 Chiefs. The NFL record for fewest interceptions in a season is five.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

THE GOAT: As noted elsewhere, Brady became the winningest QB in NFL history with his 201st career victory.

HOME BODY: Since 2007, Brady is 62-6 overall at home in the regular season. That is more wins than five teams (home and away) have combined during that span. (60 by the Bucs, 57 by the Raiders, 52 by the Jaguars, 47 by the Browns and 46 by the Rams).

GETTING CLOSER: LeGarrette Blount scored on a 43-yard run in the first quarter and is now one rushing TD away from the tying the franchise record for rushing touchdowns in a season. He has 13, one behind Curtis Martin (who scored 14 in both 1995 and 1996).

SOME FIRSTS:
-- CB Logan Ryan sacked Rams QB Jared Goff for a loss of 12½ yards in the second quarter for his first sack since 2013.
-- LB Kyle Van Noy recorded his first NFL interception when he picked off a QB Jared Goff pass in the third quarter.
-- WR Julian Edelman finished with 8 receptions for 101 yards, his first 100-yard game of the 2016 season. (He now has eight 100-yard games in the regular season and two in the postseason.)

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system.