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Dustin Pedroia defends Bobby Valentine after reported tiff between players, manager

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Media outlets are encouraged to refer to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine as 'embattled.' (Getty Images)

Has there been a more tiresome team in recent memory than the 2012 Red Sox? Everything about this team -- the players, the manager, the front office, the owners, the (eternally tiresome) Boston media, and the reactions they all inspire in fans of the team -- is beyond worn out.

Consider this Exhibit, I dunno, Z: Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan reports that in late July some Red Sox players "blasted" Valentine during a "heated" meeting with team ownership. According to Passan, their mounting anger resulted from Valentine's decision to leave Jon Lester in for an 11-run beating on July 22. Passan writes:

[Adrian] Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia were among the most vocal in the meeting, in which some players stated flatly they no longer wanted to play for Valentine, the sources said. The tenor of the 2 p.m. meeting at The Palace hotel in New York turned ugly almost immediately, according to the sources, whom Yahoo! Sports granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about internal matters.

Quite obviously, Valentine was not fired subsequent to the meeting, and in fact GM Ben Cherington not long ago voiced the front office's public support for Valentine. Based on that, it doesn't appear that the players who want to see Valentine fired will be placated anytime soon.

Of course, with the Red Sox as injured as ever and drifting out of playoff contention (heading into Tuesday night's action, CoolStandings.com gave the Sox just a 12.0% chance of making the postseason), they might get their wish over the winter. Then again, given the dysfunctional elements in place, a number of players might also be accompanying Valentine out the door.

More to come, I'm quite sure.

UPDATE: And here's more. Valentine had the following to say about the story Tuesday: "I'm glad July is over because they are still playing for me. I don't know what issues they might be referring to. Dustin and I talked. That's a meeting I had. But I don't know if it was in July."

Also, Pedroia and Gonzalez refused comment before the game Tuesday night, other than to note that they may not talk to media again this season.

After the game, Pedroia said the following about a meeting:

"I know the coaches had a meeting, Bobby had a meeting, we all had a meeting. Basically when I spoke I said we all had to be better. That means the owners, Bobby, coaches, especially the players. I have had one problem with Bobby earlier in the year and I went into his office and talked to him like a man and he talked to me like a man. And we've been great. We've had a great relationship."

Then Pedroia gave Valentine a vote of support.

"I don't think Bobby should be fired," he said. "Listen, we haven't played well and I am not going to blame anything on Bobby and I don't think anybody else is. It's on the players, man. Last year wasn't on [manager Terry Francona]. I know he took it hard. We all did. It's on the players, man."

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