Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/6/12

Bobby Valentine needed only one word to describe his first -- and possibly only -- season as manager of the Boston Red Sox.

"Miserable."

Valentine's weekly radio interview with WEEI in Boston turned heated Wednesday when he defended himself against the suggestion by co-host Glenn Ordway that he has "checked out" with four weeks remaining in the season and the Red Sox headed for their first losing season since 1997.

"What an embarrassing thing to say," Valentine said. "If I were there right now, I'd punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha. How's that sound? Sound like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing. Why would somebody even ... that's stuff that a comic strip person would write. If someone's here, watching me go out at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, working with the young players, watching me put in the right relief pitchers to get a win, putting on a hit-and-run when it was necessary, talking to the guys after the game in the food room, how could someone in real life say that?"

Criticism for Valentine has intensified during the dismal West Coast trip, which featured seven consecutive losses by a combined margin of 58-16 before Tuesday night's victory in Seattle. The Red Sox finished the trip with a 1-8 record, capped by Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to the Mariners.

In particular, Valentine was criticized for showing up after 4 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game at Oakland Coliseum because he chose to pick up his adult son from San Francisco International Airport. And in defending his perceived late arrival during the WEEI interview, Valentine ripped both the Oakland Coliseum and Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon.

"I shouldn't have to explain that. That pisses me off, " Valentine said. "Whoever wrote that knew what happened. They knew that my son was coming to see me for the first time in this lousy season and that I got to see him on the road, and that his flight was late, and that I was waiting at the airport in San Francisco for his flight to come in, and that I sent the lineup in and reported to my coaches that I was going to be a little late. For someone to say that I was late is an absolute disgrace to their integrity, if they have any.

"When you said what you said, you should apologize to me for saying that I came late. I wasn't late. When you call in and say that you're delayed in traffic coming from the San Francisco Airport to the stupid Oakland Coliseum and that there's a traffic jam, then you're not late, no.

"Four o'clock, like that's so late for a 7:15 game. Joe Maddon gets there every day at 4 o'clock, just for the record."

Valentine signed a two-year contract with the Red Sox. Principal owner John Henry said Monday that the team is "resolute" about having Valentine complete the season, but he has declined to extend the vote of confidence beyond the end of the season.

For what it's worth, Valentine said he wants to fulfill his contract.

"Of course," he said. "If that's what I'm asked to do, that's what I'm going to get paid to do. This is what I chose to do. I think it's been miserable, but it's also been part of my life's journey. You learn from misery."

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