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Passan reported that Red Sox players — led by Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez — held a meeting with team owners on an off-day in late July to air their displeasure with manager Bobby Valentine.
“There were more than a dozen people in that meeting. I don’t think that any of the people in there would have minded if Bobby Valentine would have gotten fired,” said Passan.
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“The impression I got is that John Henry and Larry Lucchino were stunned by what they were being told,” he said. “That’s not enough to sway them at this point. Red Sox management is stuck between a rock and hard place right here. They have two potential situations on their hand: fire Valentine and admit their mistake, or they can say we’re not going to fire this guy – we don’t want the inmates running the asylum.”
“There is no good situation right now for the Boston Red Sox,” added Passan.
Pedroia denied that the purpose of the meeting was to get Valentine axed following the team’s 7-1 loss in Baltimore Tuesday night, saying he’s never even spoken with Passan.
But Passan said that is just Pedroia trying to save face.
“It’s very easy for Pedroia to come out now and say what he did – by the way I have talked to him a number of times,” said Passan.
“I think this is your typical ‘you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar’ and you’re backtracking now and trying to save face.
“I’ve already heard from somebody tied to the organization that they were hoping this would never come out,” he added. “But it’s rearing its head in a really ugly way.”
ESPN reported that 17 players attended the meeting, with the others opting to use their absence as a sign of support for Valentine.
“That’s essentially the impression I got. I think those players essentially thought the ones that were complaining should shut up and do their job, and produce,” said Passan. “That this was not the most constructive way to address an issue, and frankly doesn’t mean all that much. Let’s be honest; what’s a manager’s job in baseball? Yeah, managing the bullpen and the lineup, but a manager’s job is to keep a cohesive clubhouse… There is only so much that can go back on a manager.
“The impression I got is the players that didn’t show up were saying instead of wasting our time with this stuff let’s go out and wins some ballgames,” said Passan.
Listen to the entire interview here: