- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine's relationship with departed pitcher Josh Beckett was the topic du jour on Michael Kay's radio show Friday afternoon, with a third party, former New York Mets pitcher Al Leiter, shedding light on what he said was a fractious relationship between the manager and Beckett.
Leiter, now part of the Yankees broadcast team, happened to be in the booth during the taping of the show, which aired on ESPN New York. Kay noted Leiter's presence to Valentine, who had managed the left-hander when he was with the Mets. Leiter jokingly asked Kay to ask, "Does Bobby still like me?"
"I love Al Leiter and I have for a long time," Valentine said. " ... And if I listened to him on some advice he gave me over the winter I'd probably have been better off this year."
Kay pressed him on the nature of the advice. "He gave me good advice and I didn't heed it."
Leiter hopped on the air after Kay concluded his interview with the Red Sox manager and elaborated.
"The advice was that he had to make sure that he had Josh Beckett," Leiter said, "... not contained and controlled ... but somewhere where he was on Bobby's side, because Josh could be difficult, and he was and it was a divisive kind of scenario and I don't know if he(Bobby) was able to do that."
Kay asked if Beckett "turned against" the manager.
"I don't know if he turned against him," Leiter said. "Bobby went down to Houston and went to the ranch and met Josh and you know tried to. ... You know, because the whole thing with the pitch count, remember? He (Valentine) was doing ESPN and he was like, 'This guy takes forever,' and automatically right from the start Josh was upset with that.
"My conversation was at length of my relationship with Josh Beckett and what I thought he (Bobby) needed to do, and I don't know if he really got it done."
3dScott Barboza, Special to ESPN.com