Boston Red Sox: Bobby Valentine's Kevin Youkilis Comments Prove He's a Disaster

Adam MacDonaldAnalyst IIApril 16, 2012

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14:  Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox looks for a call from an umpire during a game against Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park April 14, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

When Bobby Valentine was announced as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox in the offseason, there was some concern that his style would not work with this team.

In terms of approach, he and predecessor Terry Francona are polar opposites. While Tito was a "player's manager," defending his guys to the bitter end, Valentine is much more likely to speak his mind.

This was evident again on Monday, when Bobby V made his weekly appearance on WHDH-TV's Sports Xtra. During the interview, he called out third baseman Kevin Youkilis, saying he was less "into the game" than he was in the past.

The comments have sparked a furore on Twitter, with "Youk" becoming one of the 10 most-used terms on the site earlier in the day.

Youk has started to rebound from a slow start to the 2012 season. After going hit-less in his first 12 at-bats, Youk has raised his batting average to .200 with a .265 OBP.

Regardless of how he has played in the past, Youk's heart and passion for the game have never been called into question. Indeed, in his response to Bobby V's comments, he said "I’m more confused than anything because everyone knows I go out and play the game as hard as I can."

What Valentine said was not, in itself, that terrible. It was most likely an unfortunate wording which gave his words a more critical meaning. However, the fact that Youkilis will not be bombarded by questions is unacceptable.

The last thing a player wants while answering questions about his performance on the field is to have to answer questions about what his manager said about him.

People will forget about this story and move on from it, but one already gets the feeling that quotes like this from Bobby will keep coming. This won't be the last time he throws a player under the bus, and if these players can put their manager's big mouth behind them and focus on the game, they deserve a lot of credit.

The Sox are still under .500 on the season, and it's especially difficult to hear Valentine run his mouth when the team has gotten off to such a bad start. The Bobby V experiment has not gone well so far.

Adam MacDonald has been a featured columnist for the Boston Red Sox since October 2010. He also writes about cricket a fair bit. He likes video games and sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter, or tell him how awesome/terrible this article was, by clicking here.