Sources: Lester only told part of the story

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Sources: Lester only told part of the story

A friend of mine said this Red Sox saga would make one hell of a book . . . though not if you're a Sox fan.

The latest chapter unfolded Monday when Jon Lester told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that some of the assertions in last week's Globe story about the team culture -- which included starting pitchers drinking beer and eating fast-food chicken during games when they weren't pitching -- were true, but that it wasn't as bad as it sounded.

However, two sources I spoke to -- one inside the clubhouse and one in management -- said Lester's comments only told part of the story. Their feeling is that the behavior of Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and, on occasion, Clay Buchholz was irresponsible, occasionally reckless, and disrespectful to manager Terry Francona.

While trying to downplay the severity and scope of their actions, Lester admitted to the Globe that he should have spent more time in the dugout during games to show support. One of them agreed, though no one complained at the time, "Most guys didn't feel like they needed to say anything," he said. "They're veterans, big boys. No one should need to be babysat."

As to Lester's feelings that Francona no longer had authority over his team, neither source disputed that. They were, however, quick to note that the now-deposed skipper always treated his players as men and that, in the end, too many didn't return the favor.

While not naming names, this line from a player who asked to remain unnamed should tell the full story: "It was the guys who should know better, the guys who have been here and often benefited from Tito's softer hand. I mean, how many times did Tito defend you to the press or stick by you, and this is how you repay him? It's bull----."

But leadership was hard to come by in the Sox clubhouse, even from those paid -- to some degree -- to provide it.

That said, the general feeling remains that the foundation here is a talented one, capable of being a frontrunner for a playoff spot and a World Series title in 2012.

"No one tanked the season," said one. "We lost, okay? We didn't perform. We all need to take responsibility for that and make sure it doesn't happen again." With several moves this offseason, "I don't see why we can't do what we all believed we could do. Got it?"

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.