FORT MYERS, Fla. — After reliever Mark Melancon allowed three runs on three hits in one inning on Monday, Valentine joked that he looked good backing up the bases.
Some in the media interpreted that as being a jab at Melancon.
The truth was that Melancon had made the same joke to Valentine when he came off the field and the manager meant no harm when he repeated it.
“That wasn’t a negative comment,” Valentine said. “Anybody who wanted to make that a negative comment, you have to retract that right now.”
For the record, Valentine was laughing.
Also . . .
Daisuke Matsuzaka threw two simulated innings and pitched well according to Valentine. “After the first four pitches, [he] looked pretty good,” he said. According to Valentine, Matsuzaka could return to the majors “closer to June 1” than later in the season. … MLB Players Association chief Michael Weiner and members of his staff met with the Red Sox players before the game. … NESN’s Peter Gammons reported on Twitter that the Red Sox have invited every living person who was ever in uniform back to Fenway Park for the 100th anniversary celebration April 19-20.