Bobby Valentine can't compete in the popularity department with the likes of Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.
The new Sox manager was booed by the packed morning/early afternoon crowd at Fenway Park Monday after he took a couple of perceived digs at Youkilis on WHDH-TV's Sunday night sports telecast.
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Valentine said about his third baseman.
This morning, Valentine apologized to Youkilis for the comments.
"Kevin came in this morning and I thought it was about his groin because it was sore after the game (on Sunday)," Valentine said. "I said, 'Hey, how you doing, how's the groin?' He said, 'It's all right but what's going on?' When he said people called him and said I said things he didn't like, I totally apologized. I said, 'Geez, the last thing in the world I want you to think is I'm criticizing you.' I was giving an answer to a question. I should've been more specific. The physical is about your swing and your emotional is about not being happy when you don't hit a ball off the wall.
"I don't know if he accepted my apologies. It was very sincere and the last thing in the world I'd want him to think is this was anything but an answer to a question that seemed that the question was jabbing at him. I was trying to smooth it over and I guess I didn't."
The Red Sox fell to the Rays 1-0 in their annual Patriots Day matinee. When Valentine went out to the mound to replace Daniel Bard in the seventh inning, he received the treatment from the sellout crowd at Fenway on his way back to the dugout.
Dustin Pedroia was vocal prior to the game in defense of Youkilis.
"I really don't know what Bobby is trying to do," Pedroia said. "That's not the way we go about our stuff around here. He'll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk. We have each other's backs here.
"Maybe that works in Japan," Pedroia said, speaking on Valentine's managing career in Japan from 2004-09.