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Report: Red Sox players take Valentine gripes to ownership

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  August 14, 2012 04:48 PM

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A group of Red Sox players met with team owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino in July to express their discontent with manager Bobby Valentine, according to a Yahoo! Sports report published today.

Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia were among the players who were "the most vocal" at a July 27 meeting in New York, and some players said they did not want to continue playing for Valentine, Yahoo! reported.

The meeting was called after ownership received a text message from Gonzalez on behalf of his teammates to complain about Valentine leaving starting pitcher Jon Lester in as he allowed 11 runs on July 22 vs. the Blue Jays.

The report also says another example of a deepening rift in the organization was a photo that has been circulated via text message that shows Pedroia smiling with two thumbs up in front of an apparently sleeping Valentine. The message with the photo reads "Our manager contemplating his lineup at 3:30 p.m."

The report also says players at the meeting complained that Valentine spends too much time in his office.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington confirmed to Yahoo! that the meeting took place.

"The intent of the meeting was to provide a forum for people to express whatever frustration needed to be expressed at a time during the season when things were not going exactly the way we wanted to on the field in hopes that we could put whatever issues were there aside and focus on playing games the rest of the season. That was the intent of the meeting. That was the focus of ownership. It was a productive meeting," he said.

The Red Sox have supported Valentine throughout a rocky first season as the field manager. Both Cherington and Henry have made public statements backing him in recent weeks.

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