The Boston Red Sox return home following a disastrous road trip to start a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox completed their recent trek 1-9 and manager Bobby Valentine found himself embroiled in yet another controversy after getting involved in a heated discussion with a Boston area radio host.
WEEI radio hosts Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley were questioning Valentine about a report that said the manager arrived later than normal for a game in Oakland last week, asking him if he's "checked out" on the season.
"What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there right now, I'd punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha," said Valentine.
Valentine said he was kidding, but it's just the latest incident in what's been a miserable first season with the Red Sox.
"When you talk about someone's family and you talk about someone's integrity, you draw the line of what should be done in the workplace," Valentine said.
The road trip certainly did nothing to quell the rumors that Valentine's job could be in trouble.
"This was not a good road trip, obviously," Valentine said. "One of the worst I've ever experienced."
Getting the call for the Red Sox in Friday's opener will be lefty Felix Doubront, who is 10-7 with a 5.03 ERA. Doubront absorbed the loss in Oakland on Saturday, as he allowed five runs and six hits in three innings.
He is now 0-3 over his last six starts and has allowed four runs or more in five of those outings.
Doubront was shelled for seven runs (5 earned) in a loss to the Blue Jays the last time he faced them, but is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA in eight games (3 starts).
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with a struggling hurler of its own in righty Henderson Alvarez, who has lost his last five decisions and is 7-12 on the year with a 5.04 ERA.
Alvarez beat the Red Sox back on July 22, but surrendered seven runs in that one. For his career he is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five starts against them.
The Blue Jays snapped a four-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 6-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Toronto is 7-5 versus the Red Sox.