"Upton on Sports" Blog by Larry Upton

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" I WAS WRONG " ........................

Posted on 08/17/2012 @ 10:47 AM

Two days ago (Wednesday) when I wrote my blog and called Red Sox players "ML WIMPS" for running to ownership to complain about manager Bobby Valentine I was wrong. Red Sox players, led by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and second baseman Dustin Pedroia are not "Wimps" - these cry babies are "ML COWARDS."

That''s right "COWARDS" - since Yahoo Sports broke the story Monday everyone from owner John Henry down have been attempting to down-play the July meeting between malcontent-disgruntled players, team ownership and management. A meeting that didn't include manager Bobby Valentine. Consider that fact alone as a major reason for calling the malcontents "COWARDS." Factor in the players in question - the "stars" of Fenway, Gonzalez and Pedroia running from reporters since the story was made public and that's another reason to call them "COWARDS." If your out to blow away the manager of your ball-club, your "boss," at least have the "guts" and conviction to show yourself. Don't hide in the shadows and shoot the man in the back. That's what they tried to do.

I don't have any proof that John Henry listened seriously to his players or gave them any encouragement that they were once again ready to change the teams "Culture." On the contrary. The Red Sox brass led by John Henry showed up in Baltimore yesterday for the team's last game of their series with the Orioles. A game that snapped their losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Birds. The brass, including principle owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner and President/CEO Larry Lucchino showed up unannounced from attending the owners meetings in Denver. Let me suggest, showing up unannounced in Baltimore was "NOT" normal behavior of Red Sox brass. I believe they showed up unannounced to show 25 Red Sox players that as a group, the Red Sox ownership/management was 100% behind their manager Bobby Valentine. John Henry threw the gauntlet down. By his appearance John Henry told his group of malcontents, stop the bitching, start performing, stop placing your poor performance on someone else, and begin doing what we pay you to do. "PRODUCE." Win baseball games.

When this "Fenway Firestorm" ignited, the only credible person in this controversy has been Bobby Valentine. Interviewed by a local Boston radio station all Valentine said was, "I was brought in to change the teams "CULTURE." That's all I'm trying to do. What I don't understand is why the interviewer never asked, "Bobby, what was that "culture?" To his credit Valentine never revealed details about any individual malcontent on his club. Bobby Valentine never made excuses. To his credit Bobby Valentine never "outed" any of his "stars."

Now we have the malcontents spoke-persons, Gonzalez and Pedroia putting new spins on how they feel about Bobby V. Gonzalez told WEEI of Boston - he was not "vocal" at the July meeting and added, "I've said this to owner John Henry, I've said this to GM Ben Cherington and I've said this to Bobby. I think he's a good manager. Nobody faults him for losing and that's unfair."

Pedroia finally spoke up and said, "When I spoke, I said we all need to do better. That includes "owner," Bobby, coaches, especially the players...I don't think Bobby should be fired. If you believe these guys I have some land in the Florida Everglades that I'm willing to let you have, "cheap." Their words an insult to our basic intelligence. Make no mistake, they went into that July meeting to chop Bobby V's head off.

Unless I'm totally misreading John Henry's trip to Baltimore last night I believe he answered my question raised in my Wednesday blog. Did John Henry have a "Branch Rickey" mentality? I now believe he does.
That's why I now write -"I WAS WRONG"- Red Sox players are not"ML WIMPS"-they are "COWARDS."...

Larry Upton
"Upton on Sports"=source:boston.com/dailynews/