Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/27/12

The second he learned he had been hired to be the next manager of the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine knew what one of his top priorities had to be. Bobby V. is expected to change the clubhouse culture in Boston. More specifically, the front office expects him to make sure a repeat of last season’s embarrassment never happens again. As a starting point, Valentine banned alcohol from the Red Sox clubhouse over the weekend.

In an appearance on Mike and Mike in the Morning on Monday, former Boston skipper Terry Francona said he thinks the ban is unofficial and was just done to manage expectations.

“I think it’s a PR move,” Francona said. “I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one. You know, it’s kind of the old rule … If your coach in football says no hard liquor on the plane — I mean, you serve beer and wine — somebody’s going to sneak liquor on the plane. If you furnish a little bit, it almost keeps it to a minimum.

“I don’t think it’s a surprise that they put this in effect, or the fact they announced it. It’s probably more of a PR move just because, you know, the Red Sox (took) such a beating at the end of the year.”

I agree with Francona. There’s a chance that Valentine is ruling with an iron fist and has truly told his players there will be no alcohol allowed, but that’s a tough thing to say to a bunch of multimillionaires when you’re the new guy in town. The more likely scenario is that Bobby V. told them if something like this gets out again, there are going to be serious consequences. In other words, drink at your own risk and be ready to go. Like Francona mentioned, that should help cut down on screwing around in the clubhouse even if it is nothing more than a PR move.

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