Bobby Valentine is the strong sort, he's taken over the Boston Red Sox, and he's inherited a ballclub that had some pretty well-publicized clubhouse and discipline issues late in the 2011 regular season. Valentine was expected to lay down the law from the get-go, and lay down the law, he has. It can be unpleasant when your boss lays the law down on top of you, though, and Curt Schilling recently reported - reported? - that things were "going bad", that some Red Sox players were being rubbed the wrong way by Valentine's methods. I really wish I'd come up with a better way to phrase that.
Problems in Boston? Again? Not so fast, perhaps. Josh Beckett went on some radio show, and during the course of his interview he said a few things about Valentine and Schilling. I'll transcribe. On Valentine:
He's been great, you know. I mean, he definitely makes us pay attention to the small things, that's for sure.
I haven't seen him around this year. Is he one of our pitchers?
I haven't seen him around this year. I didn't know he was going to be one of our pitchers.
I haven't seen him around here though. I think if somebody knew that much they'd probably be a little closer to it.
As far as him speaking about how things are being run here, I haven't seen him around here this year to where he would know that much.
Hard-hitting, insightful interview. Josh Beckett hasn't seen Curt Schilling around this year. He didn't know Schilling would be one of the team's pitchers.
Beckett, I guess, hasn't heard of sources. It's possible, if not probable, that some real-life Red Sox sources expressed their discontent with Valentine, or passed along the discontent of others. I doubt that Schilling just made something up. But it wouldn't be a shock to learn that Schilling might have exaggerated, and perhaps more significantly, this is still basically Valentine's first month with the team. He is a very different manager from Terry Francona, and one would figure there would be an adjustment period. Red Sox players right now are adjusting to Bobby Valentine, and they might not like every part of that. But then the adjustment will be complete, and they'll perform more or less like themselves.
The Red Sox drama has gotten off to an early start, and after the story at the end of 2011, the clubhouse will face impossible scrutiny. The clubhouse will probably not be all that different from most other clubhouses, but if there's even the faint whiff of a problem, you better believe we're going to hear about it. And then we here are probably going to write about it because we're just cogs in the machine, man.