Beer ban hot topic for Valentine, Francona


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- On Monday morning, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on ESPN Radio, called new manager Bobby Valentine's ban on beer in the clubhouse a "PR move."

"I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one," Francona said. "I don't think it's a surprise that they put this in effect, or the fact they announced it. It's probably more of a PR move just because the Red Sox (took) such a beating at the end of the year."

In announcing the ban on Saturday, though, Valentine said he has had similar bans other places he has managed.

"I don't know. How is it PR," Valentine asked after the team's Monday workout. "That means like 20 teams are looking for PR and that's why they're making good decisions?"

Francona is now an analyst for ESPN, a position Valentine held prior to taking the Red Sox position. Asked if Francona's comments might add a little spice to the first Sunday night Red Sox game he's scheduled to work, Valentine responded:

"I doubt it. Remember you get paid over there for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff."

Francona managed the Red Sox from 2004-2011, winning the World Series twice (2004, 2007). But Boston stumbled to a 7-20 in September 2011, and missed the postseason despite several big-money offseason acquisitions like outfielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Following the collapse, Boston declined to exercise Francona's 2012 option.

During the offseason, reports surfaced that in Francona's final season, some starting pitchers drank beer in the clubhouse during games on days they weren't pitching.

On Nov. 21, Valentine, who also managed the Texas Rangers and New York Mets, interviewed for the vacated position, and on Dec. 2, he was formally introduced.