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Bobby V: ‘We’re big boys and I’m sure [Youk] is going to get it’

04.16.12 at 10:41 am ET

Before Monday’s annual Patriots’ Day contest at Fenway, Bobby Valentine attemped to clarify his television comments on Sunday night about what he has seen in the play of Kevin Youkilis early on this season.

“I answered the question, ‘It’s not Youk-like, the way he’s playing.’ That was the question I answered. I should’ve explained that his swing isn’t what he wants it to be. The physical part of his swing is frustrating him and frustration leads to emotion, and I haven’t seen him break as many helmets as I saw him break on TV. It just seemed different,” Valentine began.

[Click here to hear Bobby Valentine’s full explanation of his comments on Kevin Youkilis.]

[Click here to hear Kevin Youkilis respond to Bobby Valentine’s comments.]

“Kevin came in this morning and I thought it was about his groin because it was sore after the game [Sunday],” Valentine said. “I said, ‘Hey, how you doing, how’s the groin?’ He said, ‘It’s all right but what’s going on?’ When he said people called him and said I said things he didn’t like, I totally apologized. I said, ‘Geez, the last thing in the world I want you to think is I’m criticizing you.’ I was giving an answer to a question. I should’ve been more specific. The physical is about your swing and your emotional is about not being happy when you don’t hit a ball off the wall.”

“I don’t know if he accepted my apologies. It was very sincere and the last thing in the world I’d want him to think is this was anything but an answer to a question that seemed that the question was jabbing at him. I was trying to smooth it over and I guess I didn’t.”

Valentine said he’s not worried at all about lingering effects.

“Oh God, come on. We’re big boys and I’m sure he’s going to get it and if not, I’ll talk to him a lot more and figure out what it takes but I’d be surprised if Kevin doesn’t know that I’m totally behind him, in good times and bad,” Valentine said.

“Misinterpreted. That wasn’t meant to motivate. That’s not the way it’s done. He took a little part of something and thought that he understood what went on and that’s not what went on.

“At the end of the [interview], I said, ‘I don’t know what the reason is because I haven’t been here long enough. I don’t know why his swing isn’t exactly the way he wants it to be and why he isn’t throwing as many helmets. I thought it was rather innocuous. As a matter of fact, it seemed like they were trying to [criticize] him and I think I started it by saying how good his at-bats were [Sunday], his two walks.”

Valentine said he met with Youkilis Monday morning and asked him about his groin, which the Red Sox manager said was the reason he was not in Monday’s lineup.

“It wasn’t a fear, it was an understanding,” Valentine said. “It’s what it is. Until people want to understand what it really is, instead of making it up what they want to be, then there’ll be confusion. I think eventually everyone will want to understand what it is. I like guys to give their best everyday and enjoy the fact that they’re prepared and ready to go.”

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