David Ortiz gathered teammates old and new over the weekend for his charity golf tournament.
But while most players were lining up shots for a good cause, some were also ready to tee off on former Boston manager Bobby Valentine.
“Hopefully, we go back to a normal year and we don’t have that much controversy and stuff going on,” Ortiz said while talking about recovering from a lingering Achilles injury and looking toward next season, according to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham. “You can’t play baseball like that. It’s too much.
“Every year you learn in baseball that you deal with different people. Different things happen every year. It can’t be part of the good side always. … The good thing is that we are trying to fix things, and they tried to correct that by getting John [Farrell] as the new manager to make things better.”
While Ortiz didn’t mention Valentine by name, he hasn’t hidden his displeasure for last year’s skipper before. Valentine took a parting shot at Ortiz — one of the few players to support Valentine — on his way out, something Ortiz clearly was not happy with.
But other Sox players were ready to speak their minds.
“It was so obvious. Nobody wanted to talk to [Valentine] because nobody could trust him,” reliever Mark Melancon said, according to the Globe. “That’s never good.”
Melancon wouldn’t pin the Red Sox’ 93 losses or many players’ poor performances on Valentine, though. He said it was up to the players to do well. But in terms of getting the players going, he had low marks for the manager.
“I think there are things that can help you, a confidence booster or a trust factor,” he said. “Knowing somebody has your back and will stand behind you and is pulling for you is big. But that wasn’t always the case. I think a lot of guys felt there was some fakeness. There was a lack of trust in general.”
It likely won’t be the last time words are shared about the disastrous season with Valentine at the helm. But hopefully the players can get the slices and hooks out of their systems and come into spring training looking to make the most of their mulligan.