Bobby Valentine is no longer the Boston Red Sox's manager, but that isn't stopping him from making controversial comments about the team.
In an interview with Bob Costas on NBC Sports Network's "Costas Tonight," Valentine said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz quit on the team this year.
NBCSports.com reported that Valentine said, "David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week. He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that this trade meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there."
The trade Valentine referred to was the Aug. 25 move that sent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett, left fielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for first baseman James Loney and four minor-leaguers.
Ortiz had been out for a month with a strained right Achilles tendon before he returned to action Aug. 24. He was re-injured in that game and missed the remainder of the season.
The double irony of the timing of Valentine's comments: They occurred on the day when the Red Sox introduced John Farrell as the new manager, and on a day when the team was reportedly close to reaching a two-year contract agreement with Ortiz, a potential free agent.
Boston wound up with a 69-93 record, the team's worst mark since 1965, and Valentine was fired shortly after the season ended.
Despite playing just 90 games, Ortiz still ranked second on the team with 23 homers, tied for fourth with 60 RBI and first with a 1.026 on-base-plus slugging percentage, his best since 2007. And before the season finale, general manager Ben Cherington said it's a "priority" to re-sign Ortiz in the offseason.
Valentine's one-year tenure in Boston was marked by critical remarks about players and coaches that didn't sit well inside or outside the clubhouse. He continued to fire at his coaching staff in the Costas interview.
"I should have ... made sure that the coaches were going to be the guys that were my guys," he said, according to NBCSports.com. "You know what coaches are? They're your communication line. Your attitude filters down to the players through the coaches and their attitudes, their questions, their kinds of stress filters up through the coaches. I think we had some snags, the lines weren't flowing the way they should have."