Jessica Moran, Mike Giardi, and Lou Merloni are down south in Fort Myers, Florida for Red Sox spring training.
The three have the report on the Sox pitching staff, with Merloni giving "The Eye Test" to Jon Lester and John Lackey.
Lackey looked good in the bullpen today, according to both Giardi and Merloni. He's lost roughly 17 pounds over the offseason, and it appears to be working wonders for him already.
Jon Lester is another pitcher looking to have a bounce-back season. We've seen how good he can be, but sometimes his problems are more mental than physical. It looks like the staff is working on that with him, too.
"I like the positive mindset because I think a lot of it has to do with mental- not makeup, but demeanor out on the mound.," Merloni said. "But he's another guy impressive out there. He's out there grunting on Day 1, throwing bullpen. And again, David Ross catching him not much above the knee. Both of those guys I thought were extremely impressive, and I'm not one to watch a bullpen and really kind of notice those little things, but when you sit there for five, ten minutes and don't see a pitch above the knee, you see a max effort guy giving it everything, already in game-mode."
Check out the video for more.
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.