Lasorda has advice for Valentine

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Lasorda has advice for Valentine

DALLAS Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was first-round pick (fifth overall) of the Dodgers out of Rippowan High School in Stamford, Conn. The manager for his first four seasons was future Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. While Valentine played parts of10 major league seasons, the promise of his draft position never panned out, cut short by a leg injury that limited him to just 639 games with Dodgers, Padres, Angels, Mets and Mariners.

Since those early days, though, Lasorda has been a mentor and friend to Valentine. Lasorda knew early on Valentine would one day be a manager.

Ive seen him plan for a game, Lasorda said. Ive never seen many managers do that. He can plan for that game as good as anybody Ive ever seen.

He was one of my favorite players. He played for me in a rookie league. He played for me in Triple-A. He played for me in the Dominican Republic. So he asked me questions at all times.

Lasorda gave his counsel before Valentine took the Red Sox job with an ultimatum.

He always had a good job, Lasorda said. When you have a good job you always have an opportunity to get another job. But if you dont have a good job, its tough to get another job. He could have gone to two or three other clubs. I know I talked to clubs about him that called me and asked me. He could have gone with three clubs that I know of. But he didnt want to go. When the Boston opportunity came, he grabbed it. And I told him if he didnt, Id kick his ass.

Hes got a lot of enthusiasm. What hes got to do is take that team and get them all to play for the name on the front of their shirt and not for the name back of their shirt. If he can do that, then hell be successful.

But Lasorda knows that's not always easy.

Thats the ability that the manager has to have, Lasorda said. "To be able to put them all together, you got to get them all to be on one end of a rope and pull together. If you can do that, youre going to have success. But if half get on one end and half get on the other end, you can pull all day long. All youre doing is pulling against yourself. You got to take 25 guys and you got to make them believe that theyre the best in baseball, and he can do that.

While Valentine has been called, by turns, a genius and abrasive, brilliant and polarizing, Lasorda does not believe that Valentine's personality will get in the way of his new job.

Ive told him this; Hes got to get along with the general manager. Hes the boss, Lasorda said. And he should know that. He should realize that. In the 20 years I managed the dodgers, my general manager was the boss. And you figure this out. He gets you 25 players and he said, Heres your team. Go out and win. So you got to listen to him. You got to work with him. You got to understand him. And thats what I did for 20 years. The guy was the general manager. I had two general managers, and I feel the same way. Theyre the boss. Lets face it, their job is better or higher than yours. And you got to be together. You got to be good friends. You got to go out. AL Campanis, the general manager, we would discuss players 'til three in the morning. I said, Al, if you want me to say the same thing, youll go to the Grand Canyon. So I think I tried to do my best to always get along with the two general managers I had.

Lasorda thinks Bill Buckner, another long-time friend of Valentine, would be a good addition to the coaching staff.

I think that would be great, Lasorda said. "Buckner was an outstanding hitter. I think Buckner could relate to players. If he selects him, I think that would be a good selection.

Valentine, who turned 61 in May, has managed for 15 seasons in the major leagues, taking the Mets to the 2000 World Series, only to lose to the Yankees. While Lasorda sees the Sox offering Valentine another chance to win, Lasorda said theres another reason Valentine will enjoy managing in Boston.

Heres a place he wanted to come, Lasorda said. He could have been at a few other clubs. I know that. But he didn't want to be there. He wants to be here, Boston. He got the chance to manage Boston, he grabbed it real fast, because he loves Boston. There are a lot of Italians in Boston, and hell get along real good in the city.

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
 
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
 
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
 
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake