Lillibridge comes back to burn Sox

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Lillibridge comes back to burn Sox

CLEVELAND Apparently the lesson learned by the Sox is to never spurn any gritty, little guys in Major League Baseball.

The Sox traded away utility guy Brent Lillibridge to the Cleveland Indians for a minor league pitcher after only 10 games of service this season, and revenge was his on Saturday night. Lillibridge rapped out a career-high three hits and knocked in a pair of important runs in the Tribes 5-2 win over the Sox at Progressive Field.

The loss once again pushed the Sox to three games under .500 in their one step forward, one step back version of baseball insanity.

Once again the Indians jumped on the board first when Lillibridge who was the player acquired from Chicago in the Kevin Youkilis trade powered up and slammed a Franklin Morales pitch over the left field wall.

The Sox fought back for a pair in the next half-inning courtesy of Lillibridge this time on defense. Jacoby Ellsbury laced a double to the opposite field in left-center to lead things off, and two straight misplays by Lillibridge manning third base on a bunt and a ground ball loaded the bases with nobody out.

Adrian Gonzalez blasted a double deep to center field and both Ellsbury and Crawford scored before Pedroia was gunned down trying to score all the way from first just steps behind Crawford.

The Tribe scratched back to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Lillibridge again stepped up to knock home Michael Brantley with an RBI single. It only remained tied until the bottom of the next inning when Morales lost command with a pair of walks one intentional and one no-so voluntary and a hit batsman that loaded the bases.

Bobby Valentine lifted Morales from the game, and reliever Andrew Miller allowed a sacrifice fly to Brantley that pushed across the game-winning run from third base. Meanwhile in the top of that same frame Ellsbury had again hammered a double to the opposite field, but was gunned down by Brantley attempting to stretch it into a leadoff triple. A nice stretching play by Lillibridge at third base was the difference on the play as Ellsbury attempted to hook slide around the throw.

Cleveland start Zach McAllister proved to be too much for the Sox once given that sixth inning lead, and limited their offense to only three hits. The big right was, of course, aided by both Pedroia and Ellsbury running into outs at home plate and third base respectively. He didnt walk a batter and fanned four in a career-high eight innings of work. Morales, meanwhile, didnt make it out of the sixth frame and dropped to 3-3 on the season.

The beardless Chris Perez locked it down for his 31st save of the season in the ninth inning.

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.