(possibly not on the playlist at Fenway this season)
Though the KFC ban is still up in the air, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has removed beer from the team’s clubhouse training table. If you’re of the opinion adults oughta be able to police themselves, keep in mind we’re talking about Josh Beckett. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, though ignoring the poker games that occurred under Valentine’s watch in Flushing, hails the decision and suggests it’s well in character.
Valentine once got ripped by the New York press (me, included) for suggesting Mets star Todd Hundley “needed more sleep,” which was actually a kind way of saying that he stayed out too late, which is a kind way of saying he should maybe drink a bit less. Hundley was a really nice man, but Valentine was right (yes, I was wrong). Hundley still is a great guy, but everyone around that team knew he should have drank less.
Valentine was lambasted at the time by Hundley’s enabling agents, the Levinson brothers, who should have realized Valentine was right and gotten their client to sleep more. The agents should have thanked Valentine for caring about Hundley but instead to this day carry on a behind-the-scenes campaign against Valentine over his kind euphemisms. Not nice.
In this case, no one could argue with Valentine, unless not publicly. Red Sox star David Ortiz told Dan Roche of WBZ-FM, “We’re not here to drink. We’re here to play baseball. It ain’t a bar.”
Anyway, Valentine isn’t afraid to do what’s unpopular. Asked how his decision was received at today’s team meeting, Valentine said, “Do you mean was it a standing ovation or booing.”
Goose Gossage, unavailable for comment.