Valentine: 'I knew it was going to be extremely challenging'

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Valentine: 'I knew it was going to be extremely challenging'

BOSTON -- With his team off to a 4-9 start and finding himself involved in a few controversies, the first few weeks of Bobby Valentine's tenure as Red Sox manager have been, to say the least, interesting.

"I had no idea what to expect,'' said Valentine Saturday, when asked about his experience to date. "I mean, I had some idea what to expect. But I didn't have any way to prepare for these things we're talking about -- (injuries to Jacoby) Ellsbury (and Carl) Crawford,
(the demotion of Mark) Melander, (loss of Andrew) Bailey...situations that we've dealt with.

"I knew it was going to be extremely challenging and extremely eventful. And it's been eventfully challenging.''

Some New York reporters and columnists insist that Valentine doesn't have the same energy or spunk he showed while managing the New York Mets, and that he's already been beaten down by Boston.

"I don't know,'' said Valentine smiling at the suggestion. "Maybe instead of a two-hour bike ride (daily), I should cut it down to an hour and 45 minutes and I'll have more energy in the morning.

"They might have known a little younger version.''

Valentine has been booed at Fenway at times and late in the game Friday, a chant went up in the stands, "We want Tito,'' a reference to Valentine's predecessor, Terry Francona.

"It's expected,'' he said of the booing. "They like performance. But the fans have been great so far. People I've met out to dinner, on the streets, or on the bike ride or before the game, have been great. And when things haven't worked out during the game, there have been vocal reactions.''

Valentine said some fans have made suggestions about the lineup or pitching changes, "and I think that's great. That they're involved is a good thing. No one's yelled at me when I'm on my bike or tried to run me over or any of that (stuff). That hasn't happened yet.

"I go out every night. It's been kind of neat to feel the heartbeat (of the area).''

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