Sox manager Bobby Valentine, the man whose job is to run the clubhouse, was more firm in the need for change. Valentine was careful, though, to say that the players traded to the Dodgers -- Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto -- were not singled-out as problems.
"Yes ... it was necessary," Valentine said of change. "Just didn't seem like [the players] mixed as well it should. ... It has nothing to do with the individuals that were in the trade."
Valentine said he thought the problems that plagued this clubhouse existed before he got to Boston. He pointed out that the need for change is the reason Terry Francona is no longer managing here.
"It's change," Valentine said as reporters asked several questions on the atmosphere. "That's why I was hired, cause change is necessary. When you get an opportunity for change, you change and see if that's the change you needed, I guess."
The trade could help Valentine get a firmer grip on the team. Reliever Alfredo Aceves was suspended for three days on Saturday, the same day as the trade, for conduct detrimental to the team. It was the first time the team has publicly disciplined a player in Valentine's tenure, and is perhaps a well-timed show of strength.
Valentine now must also deal with the prospect that, with one year left on his deal, it might be difficult to make it to the World Series with a team that has to restock substantially this offseason. He said that "part of the rest of the season is going to be evaluation."
There's a possibility, too, there's more evaluating than pennant-clinching to do in 2013, as well.
"I haven't gone there yet," Valentine said. "I get paid to do a job. I enjoy doing my job. As I said, to go to the World Series, I think that's every manager's hope when the season begins."