Some Thoughts Regarding Bobby V. and Kevin Youkilis
By now, I’m sure you are intimately aware of the details concerning the spat between Bobby Valentine and Kevin Youkilis, so I’m not going to waste our time by rehashing what we already know. Below is the quote from Valentine during an appearance on WHDH’s “Sports Xtra’’ Sunday night.
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.”
The word that I placed in a bold font is the most important aspect to Valentine’s comments. Youkilis is perpetually beat up. He is always dealing with injuries. Currently, he is playing with a groin issue. If Valentine had simply stated that Youkilis is not exactly where he wants to be physically at this point in the season, there likely would not have been even a fraction of the blowback that occurred yesterday.
Whether it is true or not, injuries are largely perceived as being outside of a player’s control. For example, the groin soreness that Youkilis is experiencing is a battle wound, something that happened while he was giving everything he had for the collective success of the team. Conversely, if a player is accused of not being “emotionally into the game as he has been in the past”, that inherently means that the player is choosing to not be mentally invested. That is a big deal.
Just as your Little League coach told you and your teammates–physical errors can be forgiven, mental errors cannot.
With that said, I encourage you look beyond the quote that I highlighted above. In its entirety, the interview with Valentine is not nearly as damning as the excerpts that idiots like myself have chosen to pull. Take a peak at the transcript of the interview. I think you will concur.
Do I agree with the idea of speaking to the media about a player’s physical or emotional commitment to the game? Obviously not. But let’s not pretend like Valentine insulted Youkilis’ family here. My issue with Valentine is not what he says, but rather the frequency at which he speaks.
Bill Belichick was somewhere shaking his head yesterday.
If you were surprised by Valentine’s comments from Sunday night, you are a fool. This is Bobby V. Keep that in mind.