When the Red Sox strongly denied Buster Olney's report that their clubhouse is "toxic", Olney didn't disagree.
Because, he says, they weren't addressing what he wrote about.
"I think they were asked questions along the lines of whether or not players are getting along," the ESPN baseball reporter said Wednesday on WEEI Radio's 'Mut and Merloni' Show. "And I didn't write anything about that in the piece I wrote on Monday. I didn't suggest that players weren't getting along at all.
"What I wrote was -- and I 100 percent stand behind it -- is that there's an incredible unhappiness in that clubhouse, with issues of . . . communication, and how some situations have been handled. That absolutely I stand by, 100 percent. And it's to a degree that I have rarely seen in covering the sport for 25 years."
Because his sources asked to remain anonymous, Olney wouldn't talk specifics about the team's problems . . . except to say they're not limited to the clubhouse.
"The unhappiness is multilayered," he said. "It's not just players. It's staff. And it goes beyond even the clubhouse. There are definitely a lot of things that are percolating. And it'll be interesting to sort of see how they sort out."
Olney also reiterated that the problems aren't necessarily fatal to the team's playoff chances.
"I also wrote the other day that I think that this is a team that can absolutely overcome all that," he said. "You don't have to have everything be perfect in every clubhouse . . .
"The Red Sox have a ton of talent. So despite the fact that there are these issues going on, they're hanging in the race, in the wild-card race, they're second in the American League in runs scored, they got Jacoby Ellsbury coming back, they got Carl Crawford coming back, Cody Ross came back last night, etc. . . .
"So I think in spite of all the issues that they do have, you could see this team in the playoffs."