As the Red Sox move on from the failed Bobby Valentine experiment, Dustin Pedroia is taking the high road.
In an interview Tuesday afternoon on WEEI, there was no Bobby bashing from Pedroia. In fact, he seemed to take a philosophical view of Boston's disastrous season, and admitted that he’s grateful for some season-ending words of wisdom that Bobby offered the All-Star second-baseman.
“Looking back, I learned a ton from it,” Pedroia said of the team’s challenging season. “I mean, it’s awful that we played so bad, but it’s going to better me as a player going forward and it’s going to better our organization going forward. ... It was awful going through, but, um, I think in the end we’re going to turn everything around and make sure that the fans are proud of our team and ... we’re going to go out there and win a lot of ball games and do it the right way.”
Pedroia acknowledged that he faced some unusually tough times this season, and expressed regret in how he handled a media interview in April involving Valentine’s comments about teammate Kevin Youkilis. His remarks -- "I really don't know what Bobby is trying to do. That's not the way we go about our stuff around here. He'll figure that out.” – came out wrong, he said.
“I regret I said that in that way,” he said Tuesday. “But I’m proud to a point where, you know, to be a team leader you need to have your teammates’ backs under any circumstances.
“I’m a firm believer, man, when a guy’s having a tough time, and everyone has them ... those are the times when you need your teammates, you need everybody in the front office, you need the fans. We need you to stick by us. And I felt like Youkilis was kind of thrown in a corner by himself. When the top dog comes down on you that hard, you know, I felt like Youk needed someone to be there for him to have his back.”
He added, “Without question it came out wrong.”
Pedroia also talked about his relationship with Valentine and shot down any assumptions that they didn’t get along.
“To be honest with you, me and Bobby, we talked well,” Pedroia said, adding that they cleared the air quickly after the Youkilis incident.
“We were great, man. I said that throughout the year,” he added. “But in New York, the last weekend of the year, I had broken one of my fingers and it was a day that I didn’t play, and he kind of sat me down and he said, you know, he told me some great things, and I really, really appreciate it. How to get better, and how to be a better leader, and I really appreciate it.”