Bobby Valentine, tacitly acknowledging that he and former pitching coach Bob McClure had some issues along the way, said the reason behind McClure's dismissal Monday was to provide"a little different voice in the clubhouse'' and a "stabilizing force.''
"Obviously, coming into a situation, there were adjustments that he and I were making as year went along,'' said Valentine. "I thought we were making them. (But) at this time, with six weeks to go, we thought that maybe a little different voice in the clubhouse would make a little difference.''
Recounting the hiring process last winter, Valentine seemed to refute the notion that McClure was hired without the manager's input.
"He came in and he interviewed,'' said Valentine. "I liked the interview. I continued to interview people. Then, we were running out of time and he was the best candidate out there, I felt and Ben felt. If that means he was my choice, he was my choice.
"I didn't have someone I was going to take over him.''
Speaking about some communications issues within the organization, though not specifically about McClure, Valentine admitted that communication has been a problem "at times . . . It's not one person that delivers messages and I think there have been some breakdowns -- maybe from Ben (Cherington) to the training room, that goes through my office, to the coach's office, to the clubhouse, to the training room, or however we want that to be set up.
"There's probably been a few glitches and coming in, I expected them. Someone would be a fool not to. There's always problems getting the word out properly.''
Randy Niemann, who replaces McClure, becomes the fourth Red Sox pitching coach since the end of the 2010 season, and the Sox run the risk of again, having their pitchers hear a different voice when it comes to approach and philosophy.
"Since Randy's been here (all year),'' said Valentine, "I'm not sure that idea really applies. And he did it for a few weeks ago without a wrinkle (when McClure went home to attend to a medical situation with one of his children). I think of (Niemann) as one of this year's pitching
coaches right from the beginning. And (bullpen coach) Gary Tuck is a kind of a constant, too, and I think he'll take a little role in this six-week project, too.''
Niemann, Valentine said, has "a common sense approach to things. He's worked with all the guys on rehab this year. He's been totally in charge of that, so I think they understand that he understands their throwing motions. He was in the bullpen for a couple of weeks when Gary
wasn't here, so the relievers got to know him in game situations.
"He was in the dugout for a couple of weeks when Bob wasn't here. What he brings is what is needed -- a nice stabilizing force.''