Sunday, August 19, 2012
Kelly Shoppach denies role in text
ESPN.com news services
Former Boston Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach, not first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, was behind the text message sent to team ownership in late July that complained about manager Bobby Valentine, the New York Daily News has reported.
Citing major league sources, the newspaper says Shoppach was "deeply involved" in writing the message, which was sent on Gonzalez's cell phone.
Shoppach, who since has been traded to the New York Mets, denied any involvement in sending the text.
"I'm really disappointed that my name was even brought up in that," Shoppach said after the Mets lost to the Nationals in Washington on Sunday. "I wasn't behind any texts. I actually didn't even attend the meeting. It was on an off day in New York and I stayed back in Texas with my family. I've already gotten a few text messages from former teammates apologizing that my name was even brought up in it.
"Everybody that is involved in that whole situation knows that I had nothing to do with it. So, like I said, I'm a Met now. I'm really excited to be here, around a fun group of guys. And I wish the Red Sox nothing but well. I had a great time while I was there. But I'm a Met now and I'm excited about the opportunity here."
Yahoo! Sports reported last week that, irked by Valentine's decision to leave Jon Lester in a July 22 game in which he surrendered 11 runs, Gonzalez texted his displeasure to ownership on behalf of himself and other players.
That message led to owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino meeting with a frustrated group of players at a New York hotel before a series against the Yankees on July 26. At that meeting, according to the Yahoo! Sports report, some players stated they no longer wanted to play for the first-year Red Sox manager.
However, sources told the Daily News that the text message "was not (Gonzalez's) idea or his opinion ... or his words," but rather came from a small group of Red Sox players that included Shoppach.
One member of the group, according to the newspaper, believed the only way to solve their problem with Valentine was to take it up with ownership, and Gonzalez -- the highest-paid player on the team -- felt it would be best if that text message came from his phone.
On Wednesday, Gonzalez denied Yahoo! Sports' report, which cited three unnamed sources, that he played a role in organizing the meeting and was one of Valentine's harshest critics at the meeting itself, at which 17 players attended.
"The source is inaccurate," Gonzalez said. "He says that I was animated and one of the most vocal guys in the meeting, and that's false. If somebody's going to try to be an unnamed source, they better be right with what they say, because this is putting our integrity and everyone about us out there, and that's just unfair."
Shoppach hit .250 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 48 games with the Red Sox this season, splitting time behind the plate with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin was used in this report.