|Kevin Millar on M&M: Red Sox media problems are ‘little pebble on the road’||06.22.12 at 1:44 pm ET|
MLB Network analyst and former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon to discuss the Sox’ recent issues with the media and his dislike for anonymous sources. To listen to the interview, visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“I can’t stand the unnamed source, the unknown source,” Millar said. “Put your name to it. [If] there’s a problem, like I said, with Player X and Player Z, put your name to it. You don’t like the skip, Bobby Valentine? Put your name to it.”
Millar said the media is tougher in Boston than elsewhere and becomes an issue when players don’t know how to handle the media well.
“You don’t have to be a great sound bite, that doesn’t have to be your personality,” Millar said. “Then what happens [with] the media in a place like this [is] it snowballs on you. It will dog-pile on you when times are tough. And that’s when you have a good personality or a clubhouse chemistry situation that sticks up for you and that’s when that becomes a valuable key in your club when you talk about clubhouse chemistry.”
Added Millar: “In Boston you have 37 different writers around you. It takes one bad thing and then it turns into a story. That’s just part of the business, and then it’s how you deal with it.”
The analyst said non-baseball questions can tire players and contribute to tension between players and the media, but it shouldn’t be an issue for the Red Sox moving forward.
“If the Red Sox are big boys and they do respect each other, this is nothing,” Millar said. “This is just like a little pebble on the road.”
Media issues aren’t the only problems the Red Sox are having, as the team needs to decide where infielder Kevin Youkilis belongs with the organization. Despite Youkilis’ sub-par performance this season and multiple trade rumors, Millar said he’d take the Red Sox veteran over rookie sensation Will Middlebrooks.
“If [Youkilis] is healthy I do want him in pressure situations over Will Middlebrooks. That’s my opinion,” Millar said. “Now, Will’s doing a great job right now, don’t get me wrong. But I’m telling you, [a] healthy Youkilis gives me the [important] type of at-bats, ninth inning against the Yankees in September, period.”Millar applied the same logic to the impending position battle in the outfield between regular Carl Crawford and call-up Daniel Nava. Nava took Crawford’s place in the outfield after Crawford went down with an injury and has filled in well.
“You own the Red Sox and you invest in [Crawford] for $140 million,” Millar said. ”Then this kid comes back making $20 million a year [and] we’re going to go, ‘Hey, Daniel Nava’s been great for 120 at-bats. He’s got a .500 OBP and you know what Carl, sorry you’ve lost your job.’ Come on, it doesn’t make sense.”
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