Bobby Valentine apologizes to Kevin Youkilis for critical remarks
Bobby Valentine has apologized to Kevin Youkilis after publicly questioning the Boston third baseman’s commitment to the game, the Red Sox manager said Monday.
“I don’t know if he accepted my apology,” Valentine said. “It was sincere.”
During an interview that aired Sunday night, Valentine was asked about Youkilis’ early-season struggles at the plate. Valentine responded, “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.”
Youkilis had a poor spring training and is batting .200 (6 for 30). But after starting the season 2 for 20, Youkilis had four hits in 10 at-bats in the first three games against the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend before not starting Monday’s series finale because of a minor groin injury.
“I’m more confused than anything,” Youkilis said of Valentine’s comments. “Everybody knows I go out and play the game as hard as I can.”
Valentine said Youkilis came into his office Monday morning seeking an explanation. While the details of that discussion weren’t revealed, Valentine sought to clarify himself to reporters on Monday.
“I should have been more specific,” the first-year Red Sox manager said. “Physical is about your swing, emotional is about not being happy when he doesn’t hit a ball off the wall.”
He added that he doesn’t want Youkilis to think “I was jabbing at him.”
“I’d be surprised if Kevin didn’t know I was totally behind him,” he said. “We’re big boys. I think he’ll get it. If not, I’ll talk to him a lot more.”
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