FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A day after Alfredo Aceves seemed to be testing the Red Sox patience with his decision to throw live batting practice at half-speed, his agent visited Red Sox camp and had a conversation with general manager Ben Cherington.
Tom O'Connell, who represents Aceves, chatted with Cherington. Cherington told the agent that the Sox value Aceves and want him to be a part of their staff, but also made clear that incidents like the one that took place Sunday won't be tolerated.
Aceves has a history of issues with the Sox, dating back to last season when he once refused to hand the ball to Bobby Valentine on the mound. Later in the season, upset at not being called on in a save situation, Aceves had an angry confrontation with Valentine in his office that resulted in the pitcher slamming the door and later receiving a three-game suspension.
A source indicated Sunday that the Sox believed that Aceves was "absolutely" testing new manager John Farrell. Aceves is believed to prefer to start; the Red Sox will stretch him out in the spring in case some depth starters are needed, but plan to use Aceves primarily out of the bullpen.
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.
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.