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Tim Kurkjian on D&C: ‘I don’t think it’s a very harmonious situation’ in Red Sox clubhouse

07.12.12 at 1:50 pm ET
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ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian appeared on Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about Bobby Valentine, what’s wrong with the Red Sox’ star hitters and whether the Sox will be buyers or sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

As rumors of problems in the Red Sox clubhouse continue to swirl, Kurkjian said the problems are greater elsewhere.

“I don’t think it’s a very harmonious situation there, I’ll put it that way,” he said. “I really think this has been overstated. I think the problems that they have now are that their starting pitching, especially their top two guys, has been pretty bad, terrible, to use that word. And they’re all injured and everything else. I think if they start to play well at some point, I think they’re going to be a little bit more harmonious in the room.”

While Valentine has been under a lot of scrutiny for the mediocre first half and possible clubhouse issues, Kurkjian preached patience.

“Bobby is an acquired taste. … It takes a while to figure out what Bobby says and means, and everything else,” Kurkjian said. “He was an acquired taste for anyone who met him for the first time. I think eventually they’re going to get this. The question is are they going to get this for the rest of the year?”

Added Kurkjian: “He, other than Davey Johnson, is the most confident manager I’ve ever met, meaning he knows what he’s doing is the right thing and he simply cannot stand it when people say or do things incorrectly when they’re talking about baseball. And yet some things have been done incorrectly with the Red Sox and I thought we would get Bobby Valentine either angry or lecturing. … We haven’t seen him like that as often as I used to see him and I think it’s because he doesn’t want to come in and show the arrogant Bobby Valentine every single day because he doesn’t think that’s the way to go here. But to me that’s Bobby Valentine at his best, when he knows he knows more than anyone else.”

Carl Crawford has yet to play a game this season due to a serious elbow injury that he believes he may require him to get Tommy John surgery.

“This is not going to end well this year for Carl Crawford, from what I can see,” Kurkjian said. “I’m wondering already, and this is not my nature to wonder, if this is going to end at all well in Boston for him. This is one of the strangest stories I’ve seen in a while. … I wonder if this season you just look at it and shake your head and say, ‘This is not going to happen certainly this year for Carl Crawford in Boston.’ ”

Adrian Gonzalez has been hitting the ball fine with a .283 average, however his power has been lacking as he’s seen his slugging percentage drop from .548 last year to .416 this year.

“He has just not swung the bat with power at all,” Kurkjian said. “We have asked around to him and others, “Is that shoulder bothering him?” And to a man, they say he’s OK. Even he says, “I’m OK.” Well if he’s OK, then I don’t understand where the production is. … One of the great beauties of baseball is guys get really good and really bad in a hurry with no explanation. … That’s what’s happening with Adrian Gonzalez here.”

With the Red Sox at 43-43 and 2½ games out of the second wild card, it isn’t clear if they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

“I think they’re going to have to be buyers because they’re the Red Sox,” Kurkjian said. “And they can’t give up on a season, especially a season that is still, believe it or not, open to a playoff because of the extra wild card and because of the relative weakness, to me at least, of the American League. … The Red Sox have to go out and get somebody. They have to go out and get another starting pitcher, whether it’s Ryan Dempster or Zach Greinke. It’s going to take an enormous amount to do it.”

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Bobby Valentine, carl crawford, Tim Kurkjian
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