April 16, 2012
MLB notes: Valentine apologizes but draws scorn
By QMI Agency
The Boston Red Sox had to anticipate some turbulent times when the outspoken Bobby Valentine was appointed manager during the off-season.
But just 10 games into the season, Valentine is in danger of turning off his players, drawing a stinging rebuke from second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
The manager apologized Monday for publicly calling out third baseman Kevin Youkilis the day before.
"I don't think he's physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past, for some reason," Valentine had told a Boston TV station.
Youkilis has prided himself on his all-out play and he let it be known Monday that his intensity level hasn't changed. Regarding his relationship with Valentine, Youkilis told the Boston Globe: "We're fine."
Valentine said Youkilis came into his office Monday and wanted to talk.
"When he told me that people called him and said that I said things he didn't like, I totally apologized," Valentine said.
Pedroia said no one in the clubhouse has an issue with the way Youkilis plays.
"I know that Youk plays as hard as anyone I've ever seen in my life," Pedroia said. "I have his back, and his teammates have his back and we know how hard he plays. I don't really understand what Bobby's trying to do, but that's really not the way we go about our stuff here. I'm sure he'll figure that out soon."
GUILLEN SET TO RETURN
Manager Ozzie Guillen's suspension is almost over, but we'll find out Tuesday whether the controversy he stirred up is also behind him.
Guillen returns to the Marlins dugout, having served a five-game suspension for saying he loved Fidel Castro, amid comments that infuriated Miami's Cuban community.
The Marlins organization will be prepared should there be protests Tuesday at their stadium.
"It's going to be an interesting day, no doubt about it," interim manager Joey Cora said. "But as far as playing the game, I don't think it has affected the guys. We miss (Guillen), he's our leader, he's the one in charge.
"But I don't think the guys are worried about what he said, what he didn't say, when they are trying to throw strikes or trying to get a hit."
Guillen apologized for the remarks before the team hit him with the suspension.
CLEMENS' NEW TRAIL UNDER WAY
Retired pitching ace Roger Clemens was back in court Monday in Washington for a new trial on charges he lied to U.S. Congress about taking steroids.
Clemens faced the 90 potential jurors and said, "Good morning, good morning."
Clemens was indicted in 2010 over testimony in 2008 in which he denied taking steroids and human growth hormones. U.S. prosecutors say they have evidence to the contrary. The case went to trial nine months ago before a judge halted it because of an error by prosecutors.
Prosecutors on Monday read out the names of more than 60 potential witnesses, while defence lawyers ticked off a list of about 30 names. Among those listed were Clemens' former New York Yankees teammates, Andy Pettitte, Paul O'Neill and Mike Stanton.
The Atlanta Braves will retire the No. 29 jersey of former pitcher John Smoltz on June 8, before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Smoltz, 44, made his debut for the Braves on July 23, 1988, and went on to pitch 20 seasons for the team. He wrapped up his career in 2009 with the St. Louis Cardinals ... The San Francisco Giants have signed left-hander Madison Bumgarner to a five-year contract extension, worth a reported $35 million, through 2017 with options for the following two seasons. Bumgarner, 22, has a 21-20 record with a 3.12 earned-run average in 57 games over parts of four seasons ... Milwaukee Brewers radio announcer Bob Uecker will be inducted Tuesday into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.