The Bobby Valentine era has brought quite the blunt style to the Boston Red Sox coaching philosophy.
A Tampa Bay Times piece Wednesday profiled the new Red Sox manager’s first few days in camp in Fort Myers, where his hands-on style and open mouth has surprised some players.
The article quotes RHP Daniel Bard as commenting:
“I’ve never seen anyone approach a spring training, or deal with players quite the way he does.”
Valentine is big on instruction and observation, wanting to take overview of everything he possibly can. His instruction is laced with candid criticism. The Times mentioned that the Red Sox pitching staff learned about that particular trait of Valentine’s early on:
“But Red Sox players say Valentine is just as blunt with them, telling pitchers in their first meeting they “stunk” in fielding last year."
After that comment, the Jetblue Park clubhouse televisions just so happened to have clips of pitchers from across MLB making good fielding plays. Coincidence or the mark of shrewd managing?