FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine acknowledged Monday that he may be forced to address lingering anger among some Red Sox players about a clubhouse "snitch."
Josh Beckett, in an interview with WEEI.com, reiterated complaints he had made earlier to former teammate Kevin Millar on the MLB Network about whoever leaked damaging allegations about the team's clubhouse conduct, which included drinking by the team's starting pitchers on days they were not pitching.
"Somebody was trying to save their own ass, and it probably cost a lot of people their asses,'' Beckett told the website. "The snitching (expletive), that's (expletive). It's not good.
"There's two things with the clubhouse thing that I have a problem with: If I'm going to say something about the clubhouse, my name is going to be on it. The second thing is you never want to be remembered as that guy because that will follow wherever you go. It's just mind-boggling to me."
Valentine was asked if he might have to bring the topic into the open.
"I'm not sure about addressing it,'' he said. "Maybe as the group gets smaller and that seems like a situation that's festering, and if it hasn't come to a head by the time March whatever comes around, I don't know.''
Asked whether he saw the potential for an ongoing problem, Valentine said: "Maybe. A problem, or something good. Teams are built on trust, right? And teamwork. Those are probably the two most important things championship teams have, so if there is distrust I think it eventually would have to be addressed. In my experience, those things usually present themselves.''
A common theme of the first week in camp has been turning the page on 2011, of a new chapter for the club.
"If there is a problem, I don't think you turn the page on it, personally,'' Valentine said. "I don't know if I ever said that, but if I did give me the right to change my mind. You work through things and time is a healer, but it's not the only healer. If someone was burned in there, it's going to take some time for the sting to leave.
"It's probably going to take some actions, too. I don't know if they have to be in a meeting form or caucusing small groups, big groups -- usually (the problems) present themselves. When they do, you'll find the true spirit.''
Valentine said he has spoken directly to some players already on the issue. And what has he told them?
"Exactly what I told you. Saying 'Forget it is like saying, 'Relax,' you know?' Those words mean nothing," Valentine said. "It takes breathing, confidence, all those wonderful things to relax. It takes time and apologies, but apologies come with actions. I don't think you can say, 'OK, we're going to have a meeting. We're turning the page, it's over.' No, thank you. I don't particularly like it.''
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.