CLEARWATER, Fla. – Bobby Valentine was asked Monday about the perception of a rift or power struggle with general manager Ben Cherington.
CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam recently reported that Valentine has told scouts from outside the organization that he prefers to have Jose Iglesias open the season as his starting shortstop but that the front office is in favor of Iglesias starting in Triple A.
a column by the Globe’s Christopher L. Gasper in Saturday’s edition of the paper said ‘‘a wedge appears to be forming’’ between Valentine and Cherington on Iglesias and the best way to utilize Daniel Bard, as reliever or starter.
“I think it’s lazy journalism,” Valentine said. “That’s what I think. I think it’s an easy story to write. It has no validity. Absolutely none. I could have written it in on December 3d. Are you kidding me?”
Valentine said he communicates with Cherington “a few times a day.”
In fact, there’s a meeting between the two later on Monday.
“There are some guys who are lazy and some guys who are clever. It was a clever journalist that set that all up, too. It comes with the territory,” he said.
He said his relationship with Cherington is similar to his relationship with Tom Grieve in Texas.
“It’s dissimilar to my relationship with Joe McIlvaine [with the Mets]. Similar to Grieve and early in my relationship with Steve [Phillips] in New York. When Steve became GM we had both been in the organization for three years. With Tom, he was there and I wasn’t. So there was a lot of sharing in what he had to do to get me caught up. And that’s been a similar thing. We were both young guys and now I’m an older guy.”
* Valentine said he has had a shared job situation with the fifth starter before. He said he did it in Japan and may have done it in Texas. Valentine didn’t indicate whether he would contemplate that here.
* Valentine is all for have expanded rosters in April and not in September. “If you were able to bring 30 guys on the 5th of April until the 30th of April, there’d be no question on who should be playing and what they should be doing and the competitive balance would be better at the end of the year too.”
* Kevin Youkilis took some minor league swings and reported his back felt better. Youkilis had six plate appearances, four of them with Pawtucket and went 3 for 4 with a double. He also made two plate appearances for Portland and walked twice.