The gloves were on, but no punches were thrown in Bobby Valentine's return engagement with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley on WEEI's "The Big Show" Wednesday afternoon.
Valentine wore boxing gloves during a studio appearance with the radio duo, a reference to his appearance on the show last week when he said to Ordway, "If I were there right now, I'd punch you right in the mouth. Ha ha. How's that sound?" after Ordway asked Valentine if he'd checked out mentally this season.
Ordway apologized to Valentine to begin the show and Valentine apologized as well, diffusing any tension there may have been about the comment.
"I knew it was a joke," Ordway said.
Valentine said comments "by others" about his family set him off. "I was upset with that, not with you," said Valentine.
During an interview with Tom Caron last weekend, Valentine said of the criticism of him this season, "It's always been personal. All year it's been personal."
Asked about those comments Wednesday, Valentine backed off.
"That's not really what I meant," said Valentine. "Not that it's all been personal. There are some guys with agendas. It's simple. It's been that way everywhere I've gone. It's no big deal, I get it. If other people don't get it, it's no big deal.
"I understand with some people that have agendas -- and they had them going in, they weren't going to figure out who I was, they weren't going to understand anything about 2012. They were just going to come with preconceived notions. Those notions are what people believe is reality. And that's a personal agenda of yours. It's not necessarily about my family or anything. It's not professional."
Valentine admitted he had lashed out a few times this season at his team's poor play. Of some of his comments, he said, "You never get a chance to put the genie back in the bottle."
Valentine said he has a good relationship with his current players. He said he's had five or six conversations with Josh Beckett, and that Kevin Youkilis "was in my office more than anybody." The only player he didn't talk much with, he said, was Kelly Shoppach.
"He chose not to," said Valentine.
The Red Sox manager reiterated he planned to continue with the team next year and beyond.