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Valentine Credits Sox Fans’ Intelligence, Says Booing Was For Bard Decision

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BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16:  Manager Bobby Valentine of the Boston Red Sox lines up with his players for the national anthem bfore the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 1-0.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 16: Manager Bobby Valentine of the Boston Red Sox lines up with his players for the national anthem bfore the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 1-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — With the Red Sox riding a three-game winning streak for the first time since late August of 2011, things were looking good.

Until Bobby V spoke.

The Sox’ manager questioned Kevin Youkilis’ physical and emotional attachment to the game, leading to a mini-firestorm at Fenway Park on Monday morning.

Read: Bobby V Causes Stir With Youkilis Comments

So when Bobby Valentine walked off the mound in the seventh inning of Monday’s matinee after making a pitching change, it wasn’t entirely surprising to hear some fans rain boos down upon the new manager. After all, he was booed by some fans at his first Fenway introduction on Friday afternoon.

However, when asked about the boos, Valentine said he believed the fans were just voicing their displeasure for his decision to take starter Daniel Bard out of the game too late.

“They felt what I thought — I should have taken him out earlier. They’re good fans. They know what’s going on,” Valentine said.

That could be the case, as Bard walked three batters in the seventh, visibly running out of gas at the end of an impressive outing. Valentine admitted that he waited too long to go to the bullpen.

“It was the wrong decision, obviously,” Valentine said of his decision to let Bard pitch to Evan Longoria, who walked on four pitches to force in the game’s only run.

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