From Comcast SportsNetSEATTLE (AP) -- Boston manager Bobby Valentine insisted he wasn't serious Wednesday when he threatened to punch a talk-show host in the mouth.Hours later, his Red Sox put up little fight at the plate.Valentine said he made it clear he was kidding when he made the comment during an interview on Boston radio station WEEI with hosts Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley."Didn't I go, Ha, ha?'" the embattled Valentine asked before his fourth-place team lost 2-1 to the Seattle Mariners. "I don't think physical violence is necessary for 60-year-old people."Ordway, sighting a newspaper report that Valentine arrived later than normal for a game last week in Oakland, asked if the manager had "checked out" on the season.Valentine responded on the air:"What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there right now, I'd punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha," he said. "How's that sound? Sound like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing. Why would somebody even, that's stuff that a comic strip person would write. If someone's here, watching me go out at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, working with the young players, watching me put in the right relief pitchers to get a win, putting on a hit-and-run when it was necessary, talking to the guys after the game in the food room -- how could someone in real life say that?"Meeting later with reporters in Seattle before the game, Valentine acknowledged he took offense to Ordway's question and explained that he arrived at the Coliseum in Oakland later than usual -- but still 3 hours before the game -- because he had picked up his son from the airport and got stuck in traffic."If anyone in this room or any other room I've been in in my life wants to question my integrity, I will ask someone to referee that situation," he said.Valentine added that if a writer "thought that was important and wanted to write seriously about it, they could have asked what the situation was and I would have been happy to tell them. No one asked the reasons."He went on to describe them.Valentine said he picked up his son from the San Francisco airport in the morning for his first visit on the road during "this lousy season." The plane was late, then he had to return to his San Francisco hotel to pick up his game information before driving over the Bay Bridge to the Coliseum."That was a mistake," Valentine said. "There was traffic around the hotel and an accident on the freeway. I got there a little later than normal, not late. My workday starts at 4:30 p.m., in my opinion. I got to the stadium at 4:04 p.m."He said he had called in that night's lineup at 2 p.m. and had checked with the trainer on the condition of injured players."To see my son for a couple more hours," he said, "is more than worth the trade-off of sitting around in my underwear in the clubhouse for two hours."Just ask me the question. Don't think everyone in the room is smart enough to figure out what I meant. That's not my fault."Valentine said he told his coaches he would be a little late, and he called in to say he was delayed in traffic on his way to "the stupid Oakland Coliseum.""For someone to say that I was late is an absolute disgrace to their integrity if they have any," he said.During the radio interview, Valentine went on to say that his first season as Red Sox manager has been "miserable."Asked to clarify later, he said: "The last two weeks have been very trying. Lots of obstacles in my way and I thought I've jumped them, and sometimes you get knocked down by them."It's turned out to be not what I expected. It's been a little misery, yeah," he said. "I'm not sure it's 247, but I would think after a loss I'm miserable. ... It's been adventurous, challenging."Valentine signed a two-year deal last winter and has said he wants to return in 2013. Red Sox management has maintained that no decision will be made until after the season is over.The last few weeks have not gone well. Boston went 1-8 on a brutal road trip for the club's worst West Coast swing since a 1-8 debacle in September 1989."This was not a good road trip, obviously," Valentine said. "One of the worst I've ever experienced."The Red Sox are 10-24 since Aug. 1."I'd like us to play together and show that we've got a lot of pride," Valentine said. "I think we do and I think we'll grind it out, be a spoiler along the way. That would be fun, too."
Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.
Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:
"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."
All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.
Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.
Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.
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TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.
The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.
Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.
"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."
Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.
"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."
Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.
Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.
"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."
Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.
"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."
Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.
"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."
Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.
Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.
The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.
Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.
"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.
Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.
The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.
Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.
"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.
Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.
Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.
Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.
Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.
Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.