Francona, in town for Sunday night's ESPN telecast, pulled up a chair and held court Saturday with several of his former players, including Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Clay Buchholz, for more than 30 minutes while Valentine was in his office across the hall.
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Francona and Valentine spoke before Sunday night's game as part of the customary pregame routine for the national TV broadcasters.
"I yelled at him as soon as he came into my office and said, 'Don't ever do that again!' " Valentine said jokingly. "No, I said, 'Hey, how you doing?' and we didn't bring it up. I didn't think it was any big deal. I didn't see it. I wasn't there partaking in the conversation, but what's the big deal?"
Valentine later admitted privately that Francona apologized to him.
Division in the Boston clubhouse has been a story line in Valentine's first season as manager. Numerous reports have chronicled a rift between Valentine and several members of the Red Sox coaching staff, including bench coach Tim Bogar -- who also took part in Saturday's clubhouse chat with Francona -- as well as veteran players, including Kevin Youkilis, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox on June 24.
Valentine upset leftfielder Carl Crawford when he rested him in favor of Daniel Nava on Saturday. Crawford, who started last night, called sitting out "embarrassing."
Valentine said it was a preventive measure meant to help Crawford build up strength in his injured left elbow by not playing him for more than four straight days. Crawford, who started the season on the 15-day disabled list and later was transferred to the 60-day DL as he recovered from left wrist surgery, had multiple setbacks in two rehab stints before making his first appearance of the season July 16.
"I guess when everyone came to him at his locker, he got uncomfortable," Valentine said. "He says he's fine . . . It's a very simple thing; if it bothers him, then you don't want it to get to the point where it's intolerable.
"Made sense to me. We're hoping that it's going to hurt less and bother him less and get better, and that's why we have a prescribed program."
Crawford has said he probably will need Tommy John surgery in the offseason, but Valentine is unsure of that diagnosis.
"I had never been told that he needs an operation," Valentine said. "I don't think that that's a definitive situation."
As for whether the front office has expressed a need to win to justify acquiring players before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, Valentine said no such thing was decreed to him.
"I think that this organization's in it to win it all the time," he said. "I don't think the ownership and the front office is thinking anything other than 'we've got a shot.' "
With David Lennon