By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It didn’t take long for Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to cause waves with his team. According to Mike Sweeney, the waves have already sunk the ship.
“When you have a manager that kind of hides behind the media, he has a chance to lose the team in a heartbeat. And I think right now, Bobby Valentine has already lost the Boston Red Sox,” Sweeney told 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow on Wedneday. Sweeney was a five-time All Star with the Kansas City Royals, and finished his career with the Phillies in 2010. He now works for the MLB Network as a studio analyst. “He’s getting on the heartbeat of that team in Youkilis saying he’s not trying, he lacks intensity. It’s one thing if you call a guy out in the media, you hit a pop fly and the outfielder loses it in the sun and the guy’s standing on first base as opposed to hustling into second. But Youkilis is grinding. He’s off to a slow start but that is a way to lose your team. If he sensed that Youkilis was having some problems, what he should have done is called him into his office and said ‘what the heck’s going on? You stink right now. And my job as your manager is to get you going.’ But he didn’t do that,” Sweeney said. “And unless he makes big strides to win that team back, that Boston Red Sox team’s going to be a mess.”
Sweeney noted a stark difference between Valentine, and another manager who has been in the news, Ozzie Guillen. “The difference between him in Miami, and Bobby Valentine in Boston is this; the players in Miami are rallying around their manager,” Sweeney said. “They love Ozzie Guillen and they love playing for him. You know, you talk to Jim Thome. You talk to Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Ken Griffey Jr., they say ‘we love playing for Ozzie Guillen.’ You look up north a little bit in Boston and it’s almost like the players are rallying around each other, not necessarily around their manager and there’s still turmoil. I think the Miami Marlins are going to be fine this year, because they have a manager that likes to run his mouth, but he’s a player’s manager. He’s made Hanley Ramirez adjust fine to third base by being that type of manager, the guy who calls out guys, brings ’em into the office, and I think guys enjoy playing for him. And I think they might surprise some people this year.”