ST. PETERSBURG — Embattled Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine dragged Rays manager Joe Maddon into his latest controversy.
During a combative Boston radio interview in which he was asked about showing up late by manager standards — around 4 p.m. — for a recent night game in Oakland, Valentine claimed, incorrectly, that Maddon routinely arrives at that time.
"Four o'clock. That's so late for a 7:05 game," Valentine said on WEEI. "Joe Maddon gets there every day at 4 o'clock, just for the record."
Maddon responded with a smile, a few comments about being both "amused" and "slightly flattered" and a couple of one-liners of his own:
First, as he walked out for his daily pregame interview, he said: "Sorry I'm late, I just got here."
Then he posted on his @RaysJoeMaddon Twitter account: "Apologies to the writers for being late to today's pregame session. My pedicure appointment ran a little late."
Maddon, for what it's worth, usually arrives at the Trop by 2:45 and at road stadiums by around 3. "It varies by the day," he said. "I'm here in plenty of time."
Valentine, who responded to radio host Glenn Ordway asking the Sox manager if he had "checked out" on the season by saying if he were in studio, "I'd punch you right in the mouth," came back to Maddon again.
Valentine explained that he was delayed that day because he was picking his adult son up at a San Francisco airport and got caught in traffic, and he said that reporters were, among other things, "irresponsible" for reporting he was "late" getting to work.
"To get there the same time as another manager in my division gets there every day, just about," Valentine said, then, continuing, when asked: "Joe Maddon. That's when he shows up every day. Not a day, every day, okay?"
Valentine said he based his information on Maddon from a Sports Illustrated story on Maddon, but no such info shows up in database searches.
Valentine later said he was joking about punching Ordway.