When Jeff Passan’s explosive report about 17 Red Sox players holding a meeting in late July to tell ownership and upper management that they no longer wanted to play for Bobby Valentine, the reaction was complicated. Who exactly is to blame for the mess the Sox have on their hands?
Fortunately, Mike Felger was on the air to sort it all out.
Felger on Dustin Pedroia:
“He’s a good player. I like the way he plays. I’ve said consistently, maybe up until this moment, that I’d take him on my team any day of the week. However, what does that say about a guy? That’s not his job, to undermine the manager because he liked the previous guy or because he doesn’t like this guy. What does that say about the player? What are you focusing on, Dustin? This thing you have against the manager or winning ballgames?
“I find it disgusting that those pitchers last year would do what they did, and Dustin Pedroia instead of turning his attention to those guys, picks on this manager? Who walked into this? What are you doing? What does that say about Dustin Pedroia?
“He’s willing to undercut his manager and hurt the chances of his team’s success, because of what? He liked the previous guy and doesn’t like this guy? What kind of A-hole behavior is that? That’s not your job, dude. Shut up and play. Be Dustin Pedroia.
“Did you think this was Dustin Pedroia before this year? Did you think he was this kind of guy?
“Pedroia has hated [Bobby] Valentine from Day 1. Everyone over there knows it. They haven’t really reported it, they’ve just sort of said, obviously the dynamic between Valentine and the players is a work in progress or whatever. But everyone you talk to off the record knows Pedroia has hated this guy.”
Felger on ownership:
“The part I would be outraged by is that these owners give these players an audience. … These guys come up to you to complain? They complained to you last year and you gave them headsets and a yacht party. They complain this year after a full season of sucking, and they give them an audience. And who knows what the players got out of it after this?
“This does reflect on ownership. This condition has existed on this team now for some time, since at least the middle of last year, when the players were crying about the schedule and crying about getaway days. The owners, instead of telling them to shut up and play or worry about things they can control or the pennant race, threw them a party and gave them headphones. OK?
“And now fast-forward a year, and these players never give Bobby V a chance. This unrest began in week 1. The players have underperformed as a group collectively for almost a full calendar year now. And yet they text the owners, go up the back stairs to the owners to bitch about the manager, and the ownership gives them an audience. That is just bad management on the part of the Red Sox.
Felger on players’ complaints about Valentine ‘being in his office too much’:
“What a bunch of crybabies. He’s in his office too much? Where’s he supposed to be? If he was out hobnobbing with the players, wouldn’t they be complaining, ‘Get this old fart away from us! Go to your office, Bobby’?
“Oh my God. He’s in his office too much? So that’s why we’re still two games under .500.”