Schilling: Valentine, players not meshing

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has voiced serious concerns about the team’s new manager Bobby Valentine, saying he is already falling out of favor with the players.

Speaking on radio station WEEI, Schilling said he had spoken to a number of players who were unhappy about Valentine’s approach.

"I thought that the manager that managed the Mets that I was not a big fan of was now going to be a different manager, and I don’t think there’s anything different at all," Schilling said. "And I don’t think that that is going to be conducive to doing well here.

"There’s a lot of things I think that are happening not just from his perspective, but when you talk to these guys — and I’m still talking to some of these guys — I don’t think this is going well. And I think it’s going bad quicker than I expected it to."

Valentine, returning to Major League Baseball for the first time since he managed the Mets in 2002, replaced Terry Francona, who parted ways with Boston in September following one of the worst late-season collapses by a team in recent history.

But Francona left big shoes to fill after winning two World Series titles during his eight years in Boston, including the franchise’s first championship in more than 80 years.

"One of [Francona’s] strengths I think was understanding that to be a great big league manager, you don’t have to know when to hit and run, bunt and change pitchers as much as you need to manage people," Schilling added.

"You’re interacting with your players on a very different level, on a very different scale. And I think [managing people] becomes the most important trait, characteristic of a manager.

"… I always feel like Bobby’s trying to re-invent the game. I don’t think players have ever responded well to that."

Valentine has 15 years of overseeing big league clubs under his belt. He led the Mets to the National League pennant in 2000, and went 536-467 in his six-plus seasons in New York from 1996-2002. Valentine also managed the Texas Rangers from 1985-1992.