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While the move does not surprise people, manager Bobby Valentines’ reaction to it has. The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak Tuesday morning, and said it sounds like Bobby V has done a little backtracking on his stance with Iglesias.
“What surprised me was Bobby really sounding on board with this. We’ve drummed up tension and speculation that he wanted the kid and Cherington wanted Aviles and to put the kid back for seasoning. With Bobby, he is either really lying his ass off or he’s convinced the kid’s not ready,” said Shaughnessy. He was asked about the great range of Iglesias and said he didn’t see it, and his bat needed to get ready. He was really kind of hard on him.”
“He was very definitive,” added Shaughnessy.
So now with a little flip flopping on Valentines’ part, does it make the new Red Sox manager seem a little disingenuous?
“I haven’t been around the last couple of weeks, but I had the distinct impression Bobby was like ‘this guy was a much better defender than (Mike) Aviles and we can do without his bat,’” said Shaughnessy. “That’s not what I heard today. Maybe that was exaggerated, or maybe Iglesias – he is one for his last 15, he’s down to .200 – Bobby talked about him appearing kind of broken in the dugout the other day. He said ‘guys tell me when they’re ready, and he’s not ready.’”
“I would have done what they’re doing. I don’t think he’s ready,” he said of Iglesias. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in 4-6 weeks. I think now if this thing gets out bad; I mean any time a ball goes by Aviles you’re going to hear ‘Iglesias would have had it,’ and Bobby acknowledged as much. I wasn’t worried about the bat this year; they could live with the guy hitting .000 in that spot. But I do worry about the mental health of a $6 million bonus baby who is going to be your guy just getting broken too early in his career. I think that does happen to guys that are rushed to the big leagues.”
Shaughnessy also spoke with pitcher John Lackey on Monday, who is still with the team as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. For all that goes against Lackey, from what happened in the clubhouse last season to showing up his defense while on the mound, Shaugnessy says the right-hander is still a favorite among his Red Sox teammates.
“It’s easy for Beckett to like him; they’re sort of criminals of the same thing. We’ve tried with guys like (Kevin) Youk(ilis), (Dustin) Pedroia or what-not — the infielders who get shown up when they don’t make a play — and amazingly he seems to have some hold over these guys. For some reason, as a player you know who are good teammates and bad teammates, but I believe deep down people do think of him as a good teammate,” he said.
Toucher & Rich: Lackey At It Again
After having success with the Anaheim Angels, Lackey has struggled in Boston. Are the Red Sox just a bad fit for the 33-year-old?
“I do think Boston is a bad fit for him. When you pitch in Orange County for 10 years and come here and it’s a different animal all together, some guys can’t handle it. He’s given all the appearances of a guy who can’t handle it,” said Shaughnessy. “I do think he will be traded before he would pitch for this team again. But there is still is a lot of money on the hook for this guy, so I’m not exactly sure how.”
Also, how much pressure is on Mike Aviles now that Iglesias will be in the minors? And what did Shaughnessy think of Valentine calling one of his colleagues for “lazy journalism?”