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The Red Sox started off the second half of the season by taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend and now the team returns to Fenway to host the Chicago White Sox and Kevin Youkilis.
Peter Abraham spoke with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich about Youkilis’ return to Boston, what Bobby Valentine said about Youk’s return, Dustin Pedroia’s feelings about the manager and Carl Crawford returning.
Earlier in the season, the Sox manager made comments about Youkilis not being physically or mentally ready for the season.
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,” Valentine said back in April.
Valentine was asked about Youkilis’ return before Sunday’s game in Tampa, and said the comment really bothered Youk.
“I think the comment I made early, he made a big issue out of,” said Valentine, “and I don’t think he ever wanted to get over it.”
What did Abraham make of Valentine’s most recent comments?
“It was kind of surprising because he was talking around it for a couple minutes and didn’t really want to talk too much about Kevin coming back. Then someone asked him about their relationship and that kind of set him up; he basically wanted to make the point that he didn’t think it was his fault,” said Abraham. “He thought it was more Kevin’s fault for not getting past that remark he made in April and letting it linger for a couple months.”
Does Abraham agree with Valentine?
“Well yeah — to some degree,” said Abraham. “I don’t think it was that big a deal. It wasn’t like he completely threw him under the bus back in April and Kevin wasn’t playing that well at the time.”
They moved on to discuss Dustin Pedroia’s relationship with the manager and an incident where he didn’t join a meeting on the mound. First it was thought it was the second baseman showing how he felt about his relationship with Valentine, but now a story surfaced that Pedroia might not have been feeling well because he swallowed some chewing tobacco.
“I don’t know if that’s what necessarily happened, but I don’t think that relationship… frankly it’s better than I thought it was going to be given on how tight he was with Tito [Terry Francona],” Abraham said of the Valtentine-Pedroia dynamic. “Dustin, as far as I can see, wants the manager to put him in the lineup everyday and beyond that he doesn’t much care.”
Plus, with Carl Crawford returning Monday night the guys discuss where he’ll bat in the lineup in his first games back with the Sox since last season.