Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/3/12

In an awkward, sometimes testy, pregame session with reporters Monday, embattled Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine discussed his breakfast meeting with principal owner John Henry.

"What do you think, we talked about art? Liverpool?" Valentine said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "We talked about baseball and our team, obviously. Things that he's concerned about, and things that I deal with."

Henry met the Red Sox in Seattle for what he described as a "fact-finding" visit to determine why things have spiraled so far out of control for Valentine and the team. The Red Sox have lost seven consecutive games, including Monday's 4-1 decision against the Mariners, by a combined margin of 58-16, and they have dropped to a season-high 12 games under. 500.

News of Henry's arrival was met with speculation that Valentine would be fired. Instead, Henry reiterated that ownership is "resolute" that Valentine will keep his job for the rest of the season, a position that is unchanged from last month and likewise won't dissolve any speculation about Valentine's future. Valentine is under contract for one more year, but neither Henry, team chairman Tom Werner, president Larry Lucchino nor general manager Ben Cherington has made a commitment to him beyond this season.

Nevertheless, breakfast with Henry seemed to have brought the feistiness out of Valentine, who has appeared to grow increasingly weary over the past week. Asked how frequently he has spoken to Henry this season, Valentine said, "More than any owner I've ever worked for."

"To any of you that are sorry I didn't get fired, I'm sorry that you're sorry," Valentine said.

Valentine didn't get into specifics about the meeting.

"I always feel good after breakfast," Valentine said. "It's one of my favorite meals."

Meanwhile, Cherington conceded that the Red Sox's struggles in the aftermath of the Aug. 25 blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers can't be an easy reality for Valentine. And in some ways, losing Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford from the lineup may help explain Valentine's strange answers to seemingly innocuous questions like why outfielder Scott Podsednik batted third for the first time in his career Saturday in Oakland.

"Just a mistake," Valentine said in the wake of that move.

Cherington said, "When the manager is in the middle of it and he's the one who has to answer the questions after the game every day, it's hard. I feel for him. I'm sure at times frustration comes out. The truth is he's working with a roster, some of which is we're finding out about guys. It's not as easy to write out the lineup as he thought it might be in spring training. That would be frustrating for anyone."

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