It has to be Youk

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It has to be Youk

Back in 1994, Danny Glover, Christopher Lloyd and Tony Danza joined comedic forces to bring us the legendary film "Angels in the Outfield." The movie, with its airtight script and freight train of laughs, was a surprise hit at the Golden Globes before moving on to a historic sweep at the Oscars. The world has never seen anything like it, and probably never will.

However, this season in Boston, the Red Sox are filming their own version of the mid-nineties classic, aptly named: Injuries in the Outfield. It's nowhere near as funny, but almost as compelling and has left Bobby Valentine in a tough little predicament.

But if there's one benefit to the sudden lack of outfielders, it's that it's delayed a decision on what to do at third base. It's allowed the Sox to shift Adrian Gonzalez to the outfield, while leaving Kevin Youkilis and Will Middlebrooks in the every day mix, and keeping everyone happy. So far, it's been a hit, as the Sox have won four of five games to move past .500 and within two and half games of first place in the A.L. East. Hollywood ending, right?

No. Unfortunately, it won't last. Before long, the outfielders will start coming back to life, and Bobby V., Benny C. and Larry the Terrible will have to make a decision: What do you do at third base?

My answer now is the same as it was last month: You have to trade Kevin Youkilis or do SOMETHING that allows for Middlebrooks to remain the every day third baseman.

Listen, at this point, the kid is no fluke. Sure, he's come back to Earth a little since his torrid start, but he has a month in the books and is still above .300, he's still showing power, an ability to hit in the clutch, and he'll only get better with time. Meanwhile, Youk is as good as he's going to get. He's no where near as good as he was. At third base, the future is now.

But in the outfield, the present is a mess. And for that, the Sox will continue to have the luxury of delaying a decision on third base. But sooner or later they'll be forced to act, and here's hoping they do the right thing.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

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.