Wednesday, July 30, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;62.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nbkn.png;2014-07-30 05:04:48
Thursday, August 2, 2012

Valentine explains ‘incident’ with Middlebrooks

By ALAN GREENWOOD

Staff Writer

BOSTON – The trade deadline has come and gone, but it wouldn’t be August at Fenway Park if there weren’t another soap opera ready to break out.

Once again, Bobby Valentine is the central character. In a game more than two months ago, in which third baseman Will Middlebrooks made two errors in an inning, Valentine approached him as he reached the dugout and said, “Good inning, kid.” ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

BOSTON – The trade deadline has come and gone, but it wouldn’t be August at Fenway Park if there weren’t another soap opera ready to break out.

Once again, Bobby Valentine is the central character. In a game more than two months ago, in which third baseman Will Middlebrooks made two errors in an inning, Valentine approached him as he reached the dugout and said, “Good inning, kid.”

Valentine said he made the comment without malice.

“I had thought I had established a relationship with him where I could say something like that and he’d kind of smile, or relax,” Valentine said.

Middlebrooks said Thursday afternoon that he took the comment in the light-hearted way that Valentine says was his intention.

“He’s good about that,” Middlebrooks said, according to WEEI.com. “He keeps things pretty light. He’s never angry or mad at you.”

The saga took flight this week when, during his weekly appearance on WEEI radio’s “The Big Show,” Valentine said he’d been called in by ownership to explain the incident.

“(The owners) heard when Will Middlebrooks made two errors in a game and he came off of the field and got into the dugout,” Valentine said. “I said, ‘Nice inning, Will,’ and that maybe that upset him.”

During his daily pre-game media availability, Valentine expanded on that.

“It’s the most stupid thing I ever said on a radio program. It was also ridiculous for someone to repeat it, I think,” Valentine said. “He came into the dugout, he’d made a couple of errors. I said, ‘nice inning, kid.’

“But someone overheard it and decided that it was a very dreadful thing for a manager to ever say to a young player, and decided to repeat it a few times.”

Valentine said he had no idea who’d heard the comment.

“I went to Will after the game to explain to him how I made three errors in a game, and I was 21 years old, and the fans booed me off the field, and how I got through it and other people get through,” Valentine said. “It’s a great learning experience. And I don’t think that Will has been mortally wounded by that 2 1⁄ 2 month ago comment.”

The story would seem to have outlived any hurt feelings, if there were any at all.

Injury updates

Josh Beckett may not make his next start, scheduled for Sunday afternoon against Minnesota, after lower back spasms chased him from his Tuesday night start against the Tigers.

“He didn’t throw today. I’d say it’s questionable for him to throw tomorrow, which would then make it questionable that he’d start his next start, which means he won’t make it, more than likely,” Valentine said. “But he feels much improved (Thursday), had a great night’s sleep. Still a little limited in his motion.”

If Beckett is scratched, Franklin Morales is the top contender to make the spot start.

David Ortiz has been working out without enduring any pain from his strained right Achilles. He has yet to run the bases, Valentine said, though that isn’t necessarily on his checklist of physical requirements.

“They tell me for his situation that he’ll do the agility work, then for him to do the straight sprint,” Valentine said. “I don’t think we necessarily need to run the bases. If he says he ready, I’m not going to say ‘you haven’t run the bases yet.’ ”

Mike Aviles, whose case of turf toe has not landed him on the disabled list but has sidelined him since July 28, has been doing full workouts and “looks great,” Valentine said, but he did not say when Aviles would be back in the lineup.