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

Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

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Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Defiant, and determined to be a conduit for U.S. change, Colin Kaepernick plans to sit through the national anthem for as long as he feels is appropriate and until he sees significant progress in America - specifically when it comes to race relations.

He knows he could be cut by San Francisco for this stand. Criticized, ostracized, and he'll go it all alone if need be.

The quarterback realizes he might be treated poorly in some road cities, and he's ready for that, too, saying he's not overly concerned about his safety, but "if something happens that's only proving my point."

"I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed," Kaepernick said Sunday at his locker. "To me this is something that has to change. When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."

Two days after he refused to stand for the "The Star Spangled Banner" before the 49ers' preseason loss to the Packers, Kaepernick insists whatever the consequences, he will know "I did what's right." He said he hasn't heard from the NFL or anyone else about his actions - and it won't matter if he does.

"No one's tried to quiet me and, to be honest, it's not something I'm going to be quiet about," he said. "I'm going to speak the truth when I'm asked about it. This isn't for look. This isn't for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that don't have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities to be successful. To provide for families and not live in poor circumstances."

Letting his hair go au natural and sprinting between drills as usual, Kaepernick took the field Sunday with the 49ers as his stance drew chatter across NFL camps.

He explained his viewpoints to teammates in the morning, some agreeing with his message but not necessarily his method. Some said they know he has offended his countrymen, others didn't even know what he had done.

"Every guy on this team is entitled to their opinion. We're all grown men," linebacker NaVorro Bowman said.

"I agree with what he did, but not in the way he did it," wideout Torrey Smith said. "That's not for me. He has that right. Soldiers have died for his right to do exactly what he did. ... I know he's taken a lot of heat for it. He understands that when you do something like that it does offend a lot of people."

Both Bowman and Smith are African American.

Kaepernick criticized presidential candidates Donald Trump ("openly racist") and Hillary Clinton;" called out police brutality against minorities; and pushed for accountability of public officials.

"You can become a cop in six months and don't have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist," Kaepernick said. "That's insane. Someone that's holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us."

In college at Nevada, Kaepernick said, police were called one day "because we were the only black people in that neighborhood." Officers entered without knocking and drew guns on him and his teammates and roommates as they were moving their belongings, he said.

He said his stand is not against men and women in the military fighting and losing their lives for Americans' rights and freedoms.

Kaepernick, whose hair had been in cornrows during training camp, sat on the bench during Friday's national anthem at Levi's Stadium. Giants wideout Victor Cruz and Bills coach Rex Ryan said standing for the anthem shows respect.

"There's a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality," said Kaepernick, whose adoptive parents are Caucasian. "There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That's not right. That's not right by anyone's standards."

On Sunday, he stopped briefly on a side field to talk with Dr. Harry Edwards and they shared a quick embrace before the quarterback grabbed his helmet and took the field. Edwards is a sociologist and African-American activist who helped plan the "Olympic Project for Human Rights" before the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, where U.S. sprinters and medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos bowed their heads through the anthem on the medal podium in their black power protest.

After swirling trade talks all offseason following Kaepernick's three surgeries and sub-par 2015 season, he has done everything so far but play good football - and he doesn't plan for this to be a distraction.

Coach Chip Kelly did not speak to the media Sunday. He said Saturday he still hasn't decided on his starting quarterback in a competition between Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, who took over the job from Kaepernick last November and has vowed to be the No. 1 again.

Kaepernick hasn't stood for the anthem in any of the team's three preseason games "and I don't see it as going about it the wrong way."

"That's his right as a citizen," Kelly said. "We recognize his right as an individual to choose to participate or not participate in the national anthem."

Now, Kaepernick is prepared for whatever comes next.

"I think there's a lot of consequences that come along with this. There's a lot of people that don't want to have this conversation," he said. "They're scared they might lose their job. Or they might not get the endorsements. They might not to be treated the same way. Those are things I'm prepared to handle. ...

"At this point, I've been blessed to be able to get this far and have the privilege of being able to be in the NFL, making the kind of money I make and enjoy luxuries like that. I can't look in the mirror and see people dying on the street that should have the same opportunities that I've had."