On Bobby V's big interview

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On Bobby V's big interview

If you havent listened to Bobby Valentines interview from this afternoons Big Show, please do so right now. Come back when youre done. I promise to wait.

Now, a few highlights:

First of all, and be honest: Who amongst us hasnt at some point wanted to punch Glenn Ordway in the mouth? Speak now or never again criticize Valentines completely natural and understandable threat.

Second, putting aside the hysterics for a second, I think Valentine made a ton of sense in this interview.

His explanation for extending Alfredo Aceves workload (an act that was characterized as a vengeful attack on the pitchers well-being) was entirely sound.

He wasnt my closer at the time," Valentine said. Since Andrew Bailey has been back, weve been trying to stretch Alfredo out to see if we can lengthen, and general manager Ben Cherington and I talked about the possible chance of lengthening him out, to get more pitches thrown so that possibly if we needed a starter, he could jump into that rotation given our starting group is running a little thin. Is that a good reason for pitching him what would be 100 pitches in a game, I actually did it over that weeks span?

I agree with his stance that the beat guys who saw him get to the ballpark late in Oakland should have asked what the deal was especially if they planned on reporting it.

When I walked into the clubhouse with my son, the press was already in the clubhouse. You would think that one of these incompetent people would say, or ask a question, Hey, why is it 4 oclock . . . and, you know, 4 oclock, like thats so late for a 7:15 game. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon gets there every day at 4 oclock, just for the record when I walked in and someone is going to write that, wouldnt you think that theyd say, Hey why is it that you just got to the ballpark? Youre usually here at 2. Why are you here today at 4? And I could have introduced them to my son, and explained to them about the flight that was delayed because of the fog, and that I was waiting at the San Francisco Airport and that his phone had died and I had no way of letting him know I wasnt going to be there.

OK, maybe its a little ridiculous that the son Valentine was waiting for at the airport is 29 years old; the kidman obviously could have made it to the stadium by himself. But at the same time, I get it. He wanted to be there for his son. And if what he said about Joe Maddon is true, then Valentine wasnt even late. (Although that doesn't change the fact that he has an unhealthy obsession with Maddon.)

He also shed light on some of the reasons he believes things went so wrong from the start this season. He makes it clear that he didn't really know what he was getting himself into, and that a lack communication within the organization made it far more difficult to grasp the situation. Which makes sense, because that exactly how it looked for those first few months.

When youre planning the game plan," he said, "you have to get the scouts' information and the players' information, medical information, coaches' information, and then get a game plan together. Unfortunately, when you do it on the fly, its hard to decipher where the good information comes from.

For almost 25 minutes, Valentine was completely honest with Holley and the Big O. Of course, he was also insanely defensive, combative and, at times, borderline loopy.

And you know what? I don't blame him.

Say what you will about Bobby V. The guy's certainly made his mistakes, and most likely deserves to be fired. But I don't know how anyone can stay sane working in that environment.

Can you imagine what it feels like to have a conversation with your GM, in which you decide to begin the process of converting a reliever into a starter and then everyone accuses you of trying to end the guy's career? Honestly, how psychotic is that?

Or to show up three hours before a game, and have everyone write about how you were late?

Can you imagine what it's like working under Larry Lucchino? Hell, Lucchino drove Theo Epstein so crazy that he ended up running away from Fenway Park in a gorilla suit.

Forget Bobby V., I don't see how anyone can do it. Or would want to. Not until a lot more than Josh Beckett's name plate is removed from Fenway Park.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.