Francona didn't like all he saw under Valentine

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Francona didn't like all he saw under Valentine

Terry Francona isn't sure how much blame Bobby Valentine deserves for the Red Sox' stinker of a season.

"When you have a record, I think it's an organizational record, whether it's a success or a failure," the former Red Sox manager and current ESPN analyst said Thursday on 'SportsCenter'. "I think it always has to be 'we', and I think general manager Ben Cherington kind of owned up to that earlier. It can't just be one person."

But he saw some things he didn't agree with this year.

Like constant airing of dirty laundry.

"The one thing that bothered me a little bit was that everything seemed to play out in public," he said. "There's a lot of stuff that happens in clubhouses during a season -- and that's not the worst thing -- but you find a way to fight through them and make it better. When you do it publicly, it's harder to make it better. And that seemed to happen quite frequently."

And Valentine's complaints about some of his coaches . . . some of whom worked under Francona.

"Those are some coaches with some pretty high integrity," said Francona, who later added: "Different strokes for different strokes. If I had a problem with a coach, I would go tell them. I'm not sure I would choose to do it on the radio. But, again, everybody's personalty's different."

Now that it's over, Francona isn't sure what Valentine's legacy in Boston will end up being.

"I don't know," he said. "And I think part of that will depend on how he decides to go out. Again, there's going to be the post-mortems, and I know all about that. That's not fun in Boston. Because they always want to know the reasons, and if they don't know they'll make some up."

But one thing he's sure of: Valentine's successor isn't walking into a talent wasteland.

"I . . . think the glass is way more half-full than probably the normal Red Sox fan feels today," he said.

"You start off right away with Felix Doubront, Lester, Buchholz, John Lackey -- I know they don't want to hear that, but Lackey's coming back after Tommy John surgery -- that's four pitchers, right now, that I'll take my chances with . . . Andrew Bailey comes back healthy. Dustin Pedroia is a tremendous player. Will Middlebrooks is a star in the making. Jacoby Ellsbury, a year ago was second in the MVP voting . . . And they have some money to work with . . .

"The glass, in my opinion, should be half-full."

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


 

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.