|Well this picture takes on a new context, huh? (Getty Images)|
The turmoil surrounding the Boston Red Sox recently increased after a Yahoo Sports report said that several players -- with Adrian Gonzalez the reported "ringleader" -- went to ownership to complain about embattled manager Bobby Valentine in July. Gonzalez denied that he was a vocal part of any meeting.
Sunday, a report in the New York Daily News backs up Gonzalez's assertion. In fact, the Daily News report says that a small group of players led by catcher Kelly Shoppach sent a text message to owner John Henry -- from Gonzalez's phone -- to complain about Valentine. The rationale for using Gonzalez's phone was reportedly that he'd get a lot more attention from ownership than Shoppach, who now plays for the Mets. The report said that Shoppach was "deeply involved" in the composition of the message.
The Daily News' source also notes that Gonzalez had nothing to do with the message -- other than supplying the phone -- and it did not necessarily reflect his opinion. Instead, he merely provided his phone because he's a good teammate.
“All I know is that Adrian didn't do what people are saying he did,” one Red Sox player said (NY Daily News). “He's not like that. He's a good team guy. He's the kind of guy who would even cover for someone who did something wrong. He'd take a bullet.”
Shoppach wouldn't admit to being involved, but he didn't exactly deny it.
“I don't know that anybody is saying anything, and to be honest, I don't care. I don't play for them,” Shoppach said (NY Daily News). “I play for the Mets. My responsibility is here. Nothing I did yesterday does anything for today, and that's going to be my stance for the rest of my life. ‘What am I going to do today? Yesterday's gone. It ain't gonna do (expletive) for me today.' That's my philosophy on life.”
It's worth noting that Valentine made it public in May that Shoppach had been complaining about a lack of playing time. So while we'll probably never know the full truth of what went down, the puzzle pieces seem to fit together well if Shoppach was the main culprit.
UPDATE: OK, now Shoppach has offered up a denial.
"I'm really disappointed that my name was even brought up in that," Shoppach said (ESPN New York). "I wasn't behind any texts. I actually didn't even attend the meeting [with ownership]. It was on an off-day in New York and I stayed back in Texas with my family. I've already gotten a few text messages from former teammates apologizing that my name was even brought up in it. Everybody that is involved in that whole situation knows that I had nothing to do with it. So, like I said, I'm a Met now. I'm really excited to be here, around a fun group of guys. And I wish the Red Sox nothing but well. I had a great time while I was there. But I'm a Met now and I'm excited about the opportunity here."
So, yeah, it's a guessing game at this point in terms of who or what to believe.