DALLAS — Bobby Valentine did a session with the media just now and after a few questions, Bob Klapisch of The Record in New Jersey asked him about facing the Yankees.
A smiling Valentine cut him off.
“I hate the Yankees,” he said. “I don’t want to waste this valuable time talking about the Yankees. This is too valuable, Bobby, it really is. I told Joe Girardi I used to love them and now I hate them.”
On other topics:
• Valentine said Jason Varitek would remain captain if he returned to the team. If not, he has no desire to name another captain. “If he’s not back, I doubt that,” he said.
Valentine feels it should go beyond one player to provide leadership. By the way, Valentine casually mentioned that when he got a list of players to call, Varitek’s name was not on the list.
• Valentine he has been reaching out to the players on the roster and did speak to Josh Beckett recently.
Valentine said on ESPN last season that Beckett worked too slowly and the righthander was quick to remind his new manager of that.
“He didn’t want me to say anything, so I’m not going to say anything other than after he got through telling me how pissed off he was, we had a really good conversation,” Valentine said.
Valentine is still trying to reach Jed Lowrie, Carl Crawford, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and a few others. He has left them messages.
“I want to meet [Crawford] if he wants to meet me before spring training,” Valentine said. “Just do a little face to face. I think that he deserves my reaching out to him and I’m trying to do that.”
• Valentine said the Red Sox have decided to retain third base coach Tim Bogar and bullpen coach/catching instructor Gary Tuck. Hitting coach Dave Magadan was retained last week.
“They continue their passion and their commitment is, I believe, at the same level it has always been,” Valentine said. “I think the three guys are being picked by me because there’s quality in Tuck and Bogar and Magadan.”
Valentine said Bogar’s role could change depending on other staff additions, meaning he could end up at first base.
Bench coach DeMarlo Hale went to Baltimore as the third base coach. Valentine said he understood why Hale did leave, given that his role was uncertain on the new staff if he did stay.
The Sox are going through lists of candidates for bench coach, first base coach, and pitching coach. They also figure to add a staff assistant, a coach who is not in uniform for games.
Valentine said the pitching coach was most important hire and they would take their time to get it right.
“We’re probably going to take a lot of time to decide,” Valentine said. “I don’t mean months because I need that guy yesterday to start talking to about what we’re going to do. But we’re going to try and get the best possible guy and it’s going to take a while to weed through that. Ben has a list, I have a list. We’re making calls and setting up appointments.”
• Valentine got a few questions about the lineup and said that was the least of his worries. Given that it’s Dec. 7 and the roster is not complete, that makes sense.
• Valentine also dismissed the idea of the needing to make some sort of grand gesture regarding physical conditioning, saying the players he spoke to acknowledged that “got away” from the team last season and would be corrected.