Bogaerts to take grounders at third before WBC

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Bogaerts to take grounders at third before WBC

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox top prospect shortstop Xander Bogaerts, a native of Aruba, is planning to play in the World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands. But with several other highly-regarded shortstops also on the Netherlands roster, including the Texas Jurickson Profar and Atlantas Andrelton Simmons, who both made their major league debuts last season, Bogaerts will be moved from his regular position.

Hell compete to play third base with the Netherlands, said Sox manager John Farrell. If not, hell get his at-bats DHing.

In his three professional seasons since joining the Sox as an international free agent in 2009 Bogaerts has played no position other than shortstop. To prepare for the WBC, he will work out at third base with the Sox before leaving to join his Netherlands teammates on March 1.

We dont want to send him in cold where hes been primarily a shortstop, said Farrell. Theres going to be different angles to ground balls that he'll be exposed to and well be sure that we get some work days leading up to that.

Bogaerts, who turned 20 in October and was added to the Red Sox 40-man roster in November, is in his first big league camp.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.