FORT MYERS, Fla. Much is made of the importance of good chemistry in baseball clubhouses. A long season can takes its toll on even the most patient of uniformed personnel. But is it really that important?
I do think so, Red Sox manager John Farrell said. Particularly in this sport, when weve got seven and a half straight months of being with one another every day. That doesnt mean that guys have to go out to dinner with one another every night. But I think theres an atmosphere thats created inside that clubhouse: One of tolerance, one of encouragement, one of holding one another accountable. And I think if youre sincere and respect one another and you're sincere in your work and how you go about it, I think those are the attributes that lead up to what chemistry is. I think it goes a long way.
The Sox have suffered from poor team chemistry since their horrendous end to the 2011 season. While many new players have been brought in to help improve the clubhouse culture, the players who have been with the team can be just as important in fixing it.
You cant underestimate any one person here or any core of players that have been holdovers that have had success here that have won World Series here that know firsthand what Boston has to offer, the expectations and what its like to play here, Farrell said. But at the same time when youre bringing in fresh blood, new players, theres certainly an excitement on their part to come in here. And thats not to say that holdover players arent excited to be here. I think when you have that combination, ones going to kind of lead the way for the other about playing here, playing for the Red Sox. And I think we just have a very good mix of players right now.
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.