Where's all the Bobby V. talk now?

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Where's all the Bobby V. talk now?

Maybe it's a matter of the Celtics stealing most of the headlines. Maybe it's because the Sox have actually strung together a run of pretty good baseball. Or maybe everyone's just finally taking a breath. Whatever the reason, it's been a while since we've heard from the Bobby Valentine haters.

You know who I'm talking about.

The guys and gals who were convinced that Bobby V. was only in it for himself and didn't care about the team. The ones who blamed him for all the Sox struggles despite the fact that he'd inherited a crew of idiotic owners, entitled players and was hit with an early rash of injuries that would destroy most teams. The ones who COMPLETELY and UTTERLY freaked out over him doing a weekly radio appearance in New York an appearance that most have now forgotten even exists.

Those people.

Where are they? Actually, I take it back. I'm not asking. Because I don't care.

We know it's just a matter of time before they'll be back. After all, Bobby Valentine isn't perfect. There's no question that he'll eventually screw up or say something stupid or piss off a player, and at that point all the haters will re-emerge from their cocoons.
WHATTA JOKE?! WORST MAN FOR THE JOB! I BEEN SAYIN' IT SINCE DECEMBAH!

But in the meantime, let's take a second and show some appreciation for what Valentine's accomplished. Or first, let's have a look at what he's been up against:

He was faced with the task of replacing one of the most popular managers in Red Sox history after one of the worst collapses in baseball history. He lost his center fielderleadoff hitter, his left fielder, five other outfielders, his closer and his anticipated set-up man. On top of that, he's had to play without his third baseman for three weeks and a week without his second basemanteam leader. His superstar first baseman has only one more homer than the back-up catcher. His No. 2 pitcher is a professional headache and has been in and out of controversy for most of the season. His No. 3 starter has one of the worst ERAs in baseball. His No. 5 starter has been his own worst enemy and is now in Pawtucket. To cap it off, all his actions and decisions have been made under the brightest spotlight in baseball, while playing in the most competitive division in baseball.

Still, through all that, the Sox are only three games out in the division. They're only two games out in the wild card. And while I'm not saying Bobby Valentine deserves all the credit for the Sox turning it around, I think that considering all the blame he got earlier in the season, he at least deserves SOME credit. He deserves a lot more than silence. He deserves at least one blog post. So here it is.

Nice work, Bobby V.

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

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."

Hanley Ramirez's shoulder already a concern for Red Sox heading into WBC

Hanley Ramirez's shoulder already a concern for Red Sox heading into WBC

Another year, another injury concern for Hanley Ramirez. This time, though, it's a bit more complicated.

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell told the media Monday that Ramirez hadn't played any first base during spring training yet due to discomfort in his right throwing shoulder.

“Well, we’re working through ramping up his throwing program,” Farrell said, via WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. “That has taken a little bit more time than anticipated coming in so we’ve got to kind of take that day to day how much we can increase the intensity with the throwing. He’s just working through some soreness with the throwing.”

As Bradford points out, Ramirez and the Red Sox went through the same process last year. Where it differs this time around is Ramirez's scheduled participation in the World Baseball Classic: He's expected to report to Team Domincan Republic on Friday, which means the Red Sox won't be monitoring his every move on the field (though the two training staffs will be communicating daily, also per Bradford).

Ramirez isn't the only first baseman on the roster, with the Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana there as well. So will Ramirez be jumping into game action anytime soon?

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. They haven’t told me anything,” Ramirez told WEEI.com “I’m just going to go there and see.”