Tito sends text apologizing to Bobby V
NEW YORK –- Terry Francona sent a text message to Bobby Valentine apologizing for causing any commotion in the Red Sox clubhouse on Saturday.
The former Red Sox manager held court in the Boston clubhouse seated on a stool near Dustin Pedroia’s locker while about a half dozen of his former players pulled up seats around him in front of a room chocked full with members of the media. Francona is now an ESPN analyst in town to do Sunday night’s broadcast.
“Yes, he sent the text manager,” Valentine, the team’s current manager, said prior to Sunday night’s rematch between his club and the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. “But it wasn’t necessary.”
Francona and the Red Sox parted ways last year after they were eliminated from the playoffs when the Rays won and they lost on the final day of the regular season. The Red Sox aided and abetted their own collapse by going 7-19 during the month of September. Valentine replaced Francona and under his watch this year the 50-51 Red Sox have continued in a lateral spiral.
They are 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the American League East after splitting the first two games of the three-game weekend series, Boston’s first in New York this season.
When asked about it on Sunday, Francona wouldn’t confirm nor deny that he sent the text message.
“That’s personal,” he said. “I don’t talk about my text messages.”
Valentine has been in the eye of the storm all season, his first managing in the Major Leagues since a seven-year tenure with the Mets ended in 2002.
After the Red Sox lost the opener on Friday night, 10-3, Francona entered the clubhouse on Saturday initially looking for Cody Ross and Pedroia sidled up to him. Clay Buchholz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Nick Punto and David Ortiz were among the players who joined the group, creating an awkward and unusual scene.
Valentine was ensconced his office with the door closed as this transpired. When he was advised later of Francona’s presence, he wasn’t particularly happy about it.
“We’ve got drama,” Valentine said after Saturday’s game that the Red Sox won, 8-6, with two runs in the top of the ninth. “We’ve got pregame drama, we’ve got in-game drama, and we’ve got postgame drama. Man, we’ve got drama.”