Bobby Valentine. Torey Lovullo, Gene Lamont. The three (known) remaining candidates for the Red Sox' managerial job. Who are these guys, really? What are their strengths? Their weaknesses? What would they bring to the table?
Lou Merloni should know; he played for Lovullo in the minor leagues in 2006, was a member of the Red Sox when Lamont was a coach with the team, and had lots of overlapping big-league time with Valentine. On Tuesday night's 'SportsNet Central', he analyzed the three men's strengths and weaknesses with Carolyn Manno:
Positives: Ton of experience. Wealth of knowledge of the game. Very good in-game manager. Disciplinarian.
Negatives: May be too much of a disciplinarian. (Will the players push back at all at how strict he will be?) Big ego. Arrogant. Known not to get along with the front office. Strong personality, unlike any other Boston coachmanager.
"He's Boston's new Rex Ryan if he gets the job," said Merloni.
Positives: Great instructor. Great personality. Great voice. He knows the game.
Negatives: Lack of experience. Has only coached first base in the major leagues, and most teams like their managers to have had many different jobs (bench coach, third-base coach). May need "a little more time before he handles a market like this".
Positives: Lot of experience; has managed eight years in the big leagues. Knows the game.
Negatives: Doesn't have the personality to walk into a room and command respect. These Sox may need someone stronger and more vocal.
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.
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.