Retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz gives a scathing review of Bobby Valentine in his new autobiography, calling his one-time manager "arrogant," "disrespectful," "irrational," "clueless" and "aggravating as hell."
Valentine was fired after managing the Red Sox to a 69-93 record and a last-place finish in 2012, a season Ortiz called the worst of his career.
In an excerpt on of "Papi: My Story," co-written by Michael Holley, Ortiz writes: "The drama began almost immediately in spring training.
David Ortiz rips Bobby Valentine as 'irrational, clueless'
I remember fighting the thought, very early, We're going to have an absolutely terrible year.
"It was all about him in the spring. It was as if he wanted to prove how smart he was by running us through all these drills he'd used while managing in Japan, drills we had never done before. Bobby was in his own bubble, and I just wanted to get him out of it and tell him, 'F--- you.'
"He asked for a lot of changes, including some that were completely unnecessary. One of the more ridiculous ones was having players hit grounders to each other. I thought that was funny, especially for me. The Red Sox weren't paying me to hit grounders; I was there to hit balls to the moon."
And if spring training was difficult, things would get even worse when the season began. Ortiz writes: "I was competitive enough to think that we could win a bunch of games despite Bobby's ego. It didn't take long for me to realize I'd been too optimistic. And when I say not long, I mean the first series of the season.
"We opened in Detroit and were swept by the Tigers. It was impossible to ignore the comments from my teammates about Bobby's managing, how he made decisions that didn't make sense and how generally clueless and distant he was. The next stop on our trip was Toronto. On the flight there, I experienced a first in my career.
"Bobby's seat was in the middle of the plane, and the players were in the back. That day I was near the front of our section. I remember looking up and seeing a line of my teammates walking toward me. They were pissed. They said, 'We want that m-----f----- fired before the airplane lands.'"
Valentine, who managed the New York Mets from 1996 to 2002 and led them to the World Series in 2000, was fired by the Red Sox the day after the 2012 season ended.
He was asked about Ortiz's comments Thursday on CBS radio's Tiki and Tierney show. Valentine told hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney: "Well, I wish he told me three weeks into the season instead of hugging me all the time when he saw me. Yeah, that was a weird situation. I don't know how it could have been about me in spring training, but I've heard a lot of those general comments. But whatever. I hope he sells a lot of books. I hope I help him sell some."
Valentine, a Stamford, Connecticut, native, is now the athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. news services

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