Iglesias makes first start of season for Sox

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Iglesias makes first start of season for Sox

ANAHEIM -- Jose Iglesias made his first start of the season Tuesday night, inserted into the lineup after being called up from Pawtucket last week.

Manager Bobby Valentine wouldn't commit to how often he might play Iglesias the rest of the way. Valentine has two others -- Mike Aviles and Pedro Ciriaco -- in the roster who can also play the position.

"It's a difficult situation," said Valentine of the glut of shortstop candidates.

Regardless of how often he sees the field, Iglesias was appreciative of the playing time.

"It's a great opportunity to be here with the team," he said, "and try to help in any way I can."

Iglesias was on a good run at Pawtucket before his promotion, hitting .329 (24-for-73) in August. Overall, Iglesias was hitting .266 for the season with a homer and 23 RBI in 88 games.

"There's no doubt I feel pretty good at the plate," said Iglesias. "I feel very happy about this year. I'm seeing the ball, recognizing (pitches) and driving the ball (better). I think I did a pretty good job this year. I haven't changed anything; I'm just trying to be healthy, playing the game and trying to learn something every day."

Iglesias was in the running to make the team in the spring until he went into an offensive dip. But he's gained in confidence since then and enjoyed more success.

"It's a big difference," he said. "I feel pretty comfortable at the plate and I was happy with my approach. Personally, I feel a lot better."

One thing that's restricted Iglesias's progress has been a series of nagging injuries. In 2010, he broke his hand. Last year, he was hit in the head. This season, he missed about a month with a back condition.

"I was pretty disappointed to get hurt (again),'' he said. "I missed about a month when I was getting hot at the plate. But I can't control that, either. I just tried to get back (into the lineup) as fast as possible."

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.