Carl Crawford thought Francona didn’t have his back, likes Bobby Valentine just fine

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Some have reported that Bobby Valentine has lost the Red Sox clubhouse.  He hasn’t lost Carl Crawford, however.

In an interview with WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Carwford first suggests that his struggles last year had something to do with Terry Francona:

“I didn’t feel like I had the manager’s confidence. I don’t know about the organization, but I don’t try and look past the manager so I feel like I didn’t have the manager’s confidence therefore I started to think something was wrong with me, and it just snowballed after that. It had a trickle-down effect, and it just got worse and worse as the days went by.”

His beef is that Francona dropped him in the lineup after only two games last year.  But, despite some stuff in the offseason in which Crawford was reported to not have returned Valentine’s calls, he’s just fine with Bobby V now:

I know a lot of people might have problems with him, but for me I just haven’t had those problems. It’s fine with me. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but as of right now me and Bobby get along just fine … I have to say that the support system has been really good for me, Bobby, and the training staff has been wonderful … The communication with me and Bobby, coming into the season that’s what I was worried about. It’s been the opposite. You can’t do anything but have high praise for what has been going on.”

If form holds, there will be a story in the Globe next week about how everyone hates Crawford now because he likes Bobby. Because, based on the coverage we read anyway, the Red Sox are basically a high school home room placed in the major leagues.

Report: Nationals sign reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year deal

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Both a Kinsler and a Kintzler made headlines at the Winter Meetings. After the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals have inked reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year contract, pending a physical. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the deal is worth $10 million and includes a third-year option worth $6 million.

Kintzler, 33, spent the latter half of his 2017 campaign with the Nationals after the Twins traded him. Between both clubs, he put up an aggregate 3.03 ERA with 29 saves and a 39/16 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.

Sean Doolittle will handle save situations for the Nationals. Kintzler and Ryan Madson will bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.