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Valentine bashes 'immature' Rays coaches

Valentine bashes 'immature' Rays coaches

Valentine bashes 'immature' Rays coaches
BOSTON -- Skipper Bobby Valentine didn't feel the need to respond to a tweet from Joe Maddon in which the Rays' manager said what occurred in the ninth inning of Friday's game between the Red Sox and Rays "reeked of intent. It was ridiculous, absurd, idiotic, incompetent and cowardly behavior."

However, Valentine definitely took issue with the actions of Tampa Bay's coaching staff.

When Red Sox lefty Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott with a pitch in the top of the ninth on Friday night, Scott walked toward the mound, only to be intercepted by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. After that, most of the heated exchanges that took place during the incident were between the coaches on both sides.

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"Yeah, I thought their coaches were really aggressive," said Valentine. "Matter of fact, I took offense to the aggressiveness of their coaches. I thought it was very unprofessional and I really was proud of the way my coaches were trying to do what they were supposed to do in those situations. They seemed very immature and out of control."

What, in particular, was upsetting to Valentine about the conduct of the Rays' coaches?

"Coaches are supposed to try to stop things from happening," Valentine said. "Their coaches were actually aggravating and agitating and instigating."

Maddon didn't respond directly to what Valentine said about his coaches, saying, "I guess I did the same thing yesterday." But after Friday's game, Maddon took a shot at Valentine and his coaches.

"It was not called for at all," Maddon said Friday night. "I'm kind of curious regarding who put out the hit, because I know it wasn't one of their players. By the way their players reacted to the entire situation, I knew it did not come from them. It's kind of incompetent behavior. It's the kind of behavior that gets people hurt and gets [players] hurt on your own side by choosing to do something so ridiculous."

Valentine's reaction?

"Wow, is that how they do it there?" Valentine said. "When they throw at our guys, it comes from the coaches, you mean? Oh. I don't know. I don't know how things are done on their side and I don't think they know how things are done on our side. Whatever."

For what it's worth, Valentine made it clear he doesn't have a personal problem with Maddon.

"I like Joe, by the way," Valentine said.

Valentine wasn't sure if the umpires -- led by crew chief Ed Rapuano -- would issue a warning before Saturday's game.

"I don't know. It seems like a pretty veteran umpiring crew," Valentine said. "I don't know that they'll have to issue warnings before a game starts. Possibly. Again, I'm not sure how they do things."

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX, which was broadcasting the game, Rapuano didn't issue any warnings.

Emotions have been festering between the Rays and Red Sox for over a week. After Tampa Bay beat Boston, 2-1, on May 16, Adrian Gonzalez predicted he would go deep against Matt Moore the next night.

Rays lefty David Price re-tweeted someone on Twitter who said that Moore should hit Gonzalez in the numbers. On May 17, Moore hit Gonzalez on the hip in his first at-bat. Later in that contest, Felix Doubront hit Scott with a pitch.

In Friday's game, second baseman Dustin Pedroia was hit in the lower back in the sixth inning. Morales threw one pitch behind Scott and one close to him before hitting him during that ninth-inning at-bat.

It remains to be seen how much things will linger into Saturday night and beyond.

"I don't know. I think you go case-by-case situation," Valentine said. "Like you say, guys get hit all the time. I can't predict the future. I don't know what the temperature of the game will be whenever something like that happens."

"Again, all the Red Sox players, I always had the utmost respect for them -- and still do," Maddon said. "We'll see how this all plays out. I really believe it's all about the players. It's not about managers and coaches. This game is about the players. Normally, if you permit the players to do all this on their own, the right answer is going to occur. I'm a big believer in that."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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