Gonzalez named AL Co-Player of the Week

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Gonzalez named AL Co-Player of the Week

BALTIMORE It will be a showdown between Co-players of the Week starting Tuesday at Camden Yards when Adrian Gonzalez and Manny Machado suit up respectively for the Red Sox and Orioles.

Gonzalez batted .393 (11-for-28) with seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI and six runs scored in seven games last week to win his second weekly honor of the season and the seventh time in his nine-year career.

I feel pretty comfortable, said Gonzalez after Sundays win over the Indians. Im in the right mindset and Im confident, and thats translating into the hitting. When youre making hard contact with the pitches that you want to make contact with, its a good feeling up there.

Im not hesitating. Im doubting myself. Im just ready to hit.

Both, of course, have arrived in the second half of the season as Gonzalez has hit close to .400 and leads all Major League Baseball players with 35 RBIs since the All-Star break.

The left-handed-hitting slugger led the Majors in doubles and RBI over the week, and was among his A.L. counterparts finishing second in total bases (24), tied for third in hits and was fourth in slugging percentage (.857).

On Monday, the 30-year-old went 3-for-5 with an RBI-double and two run-scoring singles as Boston defeated the A.L. West-leading Texas Rangers, 9-2, at Fenway Park. But that was just the appetizer.

Gonzalez teamed with Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Dustin Pedroia to go 11-for-18 with eight doubles, eight RBI and six runs scored in the win. Gonzalez wrapped up the week on Sunday by going 2-for-3 with a double, a homer, four RBI and two runs scored as Boston defeated the Cleveland Indians, 14-1, at Progressive Field.

The Sox first basemens AL honor comes as part of a second-half offensive surge as he leads the A.L. in batting average (.393), RBI (35) and slugging percentage (.673) since play resumed after the All-Star break on July 13.

Machado batted .375 (6-for-16) with a double, a triple, three homers, seven RBI and five runs scored in four games to win his first career A.L. Player of the Week honor. The 20 year-old has made a splash since making his Major League debut on August 9 against the Kansas City Royals, hitting safely in each of his first four games.

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.