McAdam: It may not be toxic, but Sox clubhouse 'isn't happiest place on Earth'

McAdam: It may not be toxic, but Sox clubhouse 'isn't happiest place on Earth'
June 19, 2012, 11:58 am
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Sean McAdam addresses the report by ESPN's Buster Olney that the Red Sox have a "toxic" clubhouse, in a conversation Monday night with Jessica Moran on SportsNet Central:

This is a mediocre team, as reflected by their .500 record, that has some internal issues. With all due respect to Buster Olney, I'm not sure I would use the word "toxic". But it is certainly not rivaling Disneyland as the happiest place on Earth these days.

SPORTS TONIGHT: Plenty of blame for clubhouse woes

There are players in that clubhouse who are not enamored of Bobby Valentine, and maybe we can say the same in reverse when it comes to how Valentine feels about the players.

I think there's a lot of issues here. I think some are left over from September, some have been brought about by the Valentine dynamic. But it is not a great, cohesive clubhouse. That much is clear.

On the Valentine dynamic:
Valentine was hired by team president Larry Lucchino, and I think we all understand -- even if Ben Cherington doesn't admit it publicly -- that Valentine wasn't the general manager's choice. So there's probably some confusion among the players as to who's really in charge, how the hierarchy works, who makes the decisions, and who they answer to.

I'm not sure that Valentine has stuck with that sort of provocative way that he has -- after the Kevin Youkilis thing (where he drew pointed reaction from some players, Dustin Pedroia in particular, for saying Youk wasn't as "physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason"), it seemed like he backed off a little bit -- but he does seem a little bit more withdrawn from the players and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of interaction.

Valentine continues to make . . . passive-aggressive remarks about players. The Buchholz thing is one; revealing that Kelly Shoppach went into the office and complained about playing time is another. So I think there are ongoing issues with the manager.