- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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Postgame comments from Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington on the Bobby Valentine-Kevin Youkilis flap (questions in bold):
* You feel this whole thing has been resolved?
Cherington: “Yeah I do. As with many things in baseball and life, the more you get a chance to talk about it, the more you get a chance to understand what people’s meanings were and how people perceive something that allows you to get past it. We had a chance to do that this morning. Kevin and Bobby spoke, I spoke to Kevin, I spoke to Bobby and there were other conversations. I think what needed to be said has been said and we’ll go forward.
“I was surprised to see the quote, I did not see the interview live. I woke up and saw the quote. I was surprised for a couple of reasons. That’s not something Bobby had expressed to me and we’ve all seen Youk play for a long time, never wondered if he was into the game. He plays hard every day, that’s why it’s important to talk about it. After having a chance to talk to Kevin and Bobby and understood better what happened, we were able to talk through it."
* What’s your understanding of what Bobby meant?
Cherington: "I think he hadn’t seen the same player on the field that we’ve all seen in the past so he acknowledged that first of all, he acknowledged that the way he expressed that was not the best way to express that. He told the same thing to Kevin and apologized and had a chance to explain what he meant. I think we’ll all learn from it and be able to handle it differently next time."
* How do you feel about your manager making that comment in a public forum before he expressed a similar sentiment directly to the player?
Cherington: “I think Bobby wishes he had expressed the sentiment to Kevin first and I would agree with him. That’s normally the policy. I think you have to take these things case by case. I don’t think there is a blanket policy on whether a manager should ever criticize a player publicly. I think every situation is different. There are times that can be a great thing to do. I don’t think you should say it never should happen or always happen.
"In this particular case, I don’t think that’s what he was trying to do. I don’t think his intent was to criticize Kevin. That’s the way it came across in print.”
* Are players more sensitive now?
Cherington: "I think there’s more attention on it. Everyone knows more what every player does on field and off the field, when you know more about what they do, you know more about what their reactions are on and off the field. Human beings are human beings.
“I have a feeling there were guys 50 years ago who wouldn’t have liked being criticized, same goes for now. Ultimately we have a lot of tough players in our clubhouse, including Kevin, who has been through a lot, last season, offseason, a difficult start this season. He’s been through a lot, persevered through it, shown a lot of toughness and played a good series against Tampa.
“I’m very happy with the team’s response at the beginning of the year."