Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Dustin Pedroia is unquestionably one of the leaders of the current Red Sox, with his views and words setting a tone for the team. That’s why it was such a mess last spring when Pedroia got caught in the middle of comments made by new manager Bobby Valentine about veteran Kevin Youkilis. Valentine seemed to suggest that Youkilis was not playing hard anymore, and Pedroia quickly jumped to Youkilis’ defense — but seemed to take down the manager himself in the process. Now, with both Valentine and Youkilis out of town, Pedroia remains a leader on the Red Sox, learning from the mishaps of a season that went wrong in plenty of ways. Pedroia said Monday that, while he regretted how his words about Valentine came out, he wouldn’t change his defense of his teammate. “I regret I said that in that way,” Pedroia said Tuesday afternoon on WEEI. “But I’m proud to a point where, you know, to be a team leader, you need to have your teammates’ backs under any circumstances. … I felt like Youkilis was kind of thrown in a corner by himself. When the top dog comes down on you that hard, you know, I felt like Youk needed someone to be there for him to have his back.” How Pedroia ended up defending Youkilis, of course, was what drew most of the attention. Pedroia seemed to attack Valentine’s managing style, referencing Valentine’s time away from Major League Baseball in Japan, and said, “That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here. He’ll figure that out.” The comments had many people thinking that Pedroia was pushing back against Valentine’s leadership — and continuing a poor clubhouse culture that was supposedly the cause of the team’s September collapse the year before. “Without question, it came out wrong,” said Pedroia, who defended Valentine many times after the initial comments and was one of his biggest allies on the Red Sox. Pedroia said the rough season taught him many things as a player and as a leader. “Looking back, I learned a ton from it,” Pedroia said Tuesday. “I mean, it’s awful that we played so bad, but it’s going to better me as a player going forward, and it’s going to better our organization going forward.” That’s a message all Red Sox fans want to hear.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jonas Gray shows up late to practice, sent home by Patriots

Paul Pierce: Rivalry with Lebron like 'fighting for the same girl'

Report: Brock Lesnar planning UFC return next summer

Derek Fisher reportedly had to challenge Knicks to play hard

Michael Sam on childhood: 'My brothers were evil people'

LeSean McCoy bristles at talk of disappointing season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Padres join major players in pursuit of Sandoval

Derek Carr on Raiders getting first win: 'I like this feeling'

Miss. St. pulls QB's scholarship offer 15 days before graduation

Patriots have best odds to win Super Bowl, say experts

Canseco's finger falling off apparently was a bad prank

Peterson speaks out, doesn't want to be compared to Ray Rice

FSU will wear special #FSUnited ribbon decal on helmets

Food Lion disastrously insults teams in Super Bowl promos

Can Melvin Gordon break Barry Sanders' single-season record?

DirecTV Sunday Ticket will air Jets-Bills on Monday

Game of the week: New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions

WATCH: Duke graduate asst. loses mind to pump up players

Golic recreates Kim Kardashian butt pic after losing bet

Five bold predictions for Week 12 in the NFL

Brian Cashman spends night sleeping on street for charity

10 NFL rising stars vital to their teams’ postseason hopes

With Raiders win, NFL's 'Circle of Parity' is complete

WATCH: Sack celebration nearly costs Raiders their first win

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Report: Padres join hunt for Sandoval

Golic recreates Kardashian butt pic

Adrian Peterson speaks out

NFLPA appeals Peterson suspension

10 best college running backs ever

DeSean Jackson mum on cryptic post

Revis on Johnson: 'A man among boys'

LeBron on challenge of leading Cavaliers

LeGarrette Blount issues apology

Ex-NFLer delivers own baby on farm

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.