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Joe Maddon pokes Bobby Valentine. And it’s kind of a cheap shot.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25: Joe Maddon #70 of the Tampa Bay Rays smiles before a game with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park May 25, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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One of the subjects that came up in the instantly infamous Bobby Valentine interview today was the allegation that he was late to a game in Oakland last weekend, when he apparently showed up just after 4pm for a 7PM game.

This led to Valentine defending himself over the charge, noting that he was picking up his son at the airport and that all of his pregame work was done and everyone knew were he was. Then he added “Joe Maddon gets there everyday at 4 o’clock, just for the record.”

A few minutes ago Maddon decided to poke at Valentine over this, tweeting thusly:

Apologies to the writers for being late to today’s pregame session. My pedicure appointment ran a little late.

— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) September 5, 2012


I guess a little chuckle is in order on the principle that the bar for yuks is really low when sports figures are involved. But really, I have to side with Valentine on this one. He’s not having a great season, but that lateness charge sounds like a bunch of crap someone is trying to stir up for no good reason. Out of pure professional courtesy to a counterpart, you’d think Maddon would have some sympathy for all of that.

All of which flows into my general take on the Bobby Valentine experience this year. No, he hasn’t helped himself one iota, but this situation was doomed from the get-go given the manner in which his predecessor was fired and Valentine himself was hired. Then add in an injured, underperforming team and a media market that just likes to watch the world burn, and the guy never had a chance.

Valentine is a big boy and will be just fine once this nightmare season is over, but Maddon’s pile on -- even if it was meant in a spirit of whimsy rather than snark -- is a bit cheap in my view.