- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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"Do you have baseball questions?” he asked. “Waiver questions? I’m not talking about that.”
Then he walked away.
Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed the slugging first baseman off waivers, and the Red Sox have 72 hours to work out a deal. During his daily pregame press conference, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was asked about the situation.
"I have no thoughts at all,” Valentine said. “I saw it scroll on the bottom of my TV.”
Valentine said he had a conversation with general manager Bobby Valentine earlier in the day and Gonzalez was not mentioned.
“I talked to Ben this afternoon and there was no mention -- at all,” Valentine said. “There wasn’t a mention of ‘who do you want?’ There wasn’t any conversation, so I believe it’s nothing more than the standard operational of a guy gets claimed, it’s a block, it’s not a trade and life goes on.”
Valentine said he also hadn’t talked with Gonzalez about the situation, and didn’t feel a need to, either.
“They’re all different players, obviously, everyone’s an individual and they take things differently,” Valentine said. “When I was playing, if someone claimed me I’d be happy as hell because that’s flattering that someone wanted me.
“In Adrian’s case, I think it’s still flattering. I would think if a team wants him, how could they not want him? He’s a great player.
“I’ll see Adrian and tell him how much I love him and want him and think he should be here,” Valentine said. “He’ll look at me and say, ‘Oh, I wonder if that’s true? I wonder if there’s a trade brewing.’ Until the whole thing is over and he is our player forever, then it’s all kind of BS.”
This practice is not unusual at this point of the season.
“Every player goes on waivers during this month,” explained Valentine. “The game is, if someone really wants someone, they claim him and try to make a trade. If someone doesn’t want him, and doesn’t want the player to go to another team, then they’ll claim him and really not try to make a trade, and say, ‘we’ll offer a bag of balls’ and the conversation is over, so the other team that wanted him can’t get him. I guess that’s the way the game’s played.
“It’s gone on forever. The difference now is, and I know we get blamed a lot in our clubhouse about who can keep a secret, the problem now is the people in baseball can’t keep a secret. This stuff is not supposed to be out, but obviously there’s someone who is privy to the information who decides to let that stuff out. I guess it’s stuff that you can’t combat, but it’s not right.”
CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam reported this afternoon at the Dodgers also claimed pitcher Josh Beckett off waivers, also. Later reports had the Dodgers and Red Sox closing in on a deal to send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to Los Angeles, though a few hurdles remained before anything could become official.
“I’ll guarantee you there have been 10 guys claimed in the last week -- maybe 20. Have we heard about 20 guys being claimed and going to different teams? Maybe there haven’t been that many, but you would think other guys get claimed,” Valentine said.