It’s been a rough first year in Boston for Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. Every week seems to bring about a new controversy and a new item for which the Boston media can feign outrage so as to drive more web traffic and increase newspaper circulation.

The latest in the long line of unprofessional media provocation causing poorly handled reactions occurred today on WEEI Sports Radio in Boston when Mr. Valentine jokingly (but not really jokingly) suggested that if he were being interviewed face-to-face and not over the telephone, he’d punch host Glenn Ordway in the face.

The response came after he was asked by the well pleased with himself host if he had “checked out” after his team fell eleven games under .500.

What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there right now, I’d punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha. How’s that sound? Is that 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, 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?

While the “punch you right in the mouth” sound byte will certainly be the one remembered from this exchange, Valentine’s anger didn’t reach the tipping point until he was asked about arriving late to Saturday night’s game.

I shouldn’t have to explain that. That pisses me off. Whoever wrote that knew what happened. They knew that my son was coming to see me for the first time in this lousy season and that I got to see him on the road, and that his flight was late, and that I was waiting at the airport in San Francisco for his flight to come in, and that I sent the lineup in and reported to my coaches that I was going to be a little late. For someone to say that I was late is an absolute disgrace to their integrity if they have any.

When you said what you said, you should apologize to me for saying that I came late. I wasn’t late. When you call in and say that you’re delayed in traffic coming from the San Francisco Airport to the stupid Oakland Coliseum and that there’s a traffic jam, then you’re not late, no.

To listen to the painfully contentious conversation in its entirety, use the audio player below: