Ortiz reaches milestone with No. 400


Ortiz reaches milestone with No. 400

OAKLAND -- In a perfect world, David Ortiz would have been able to celebrate his 400th career homer in style, following a Red Sox victory.
But wins have been in short supply for the Sox, who finished a seven-game road trip to the West Coast Wednesday with a dispiriting 3-2 loss to the Oakland, taking some of the shine off the achievement.
"It was in a good situation, tied the game,'' recounted Ortiz of the solo shot to right to lead off the fourth inning off A.J. Griffin.
But in the moment, Ortiz couldn't find much joy in the honor, even if he became only the eighth active player to reach the milestone and moved him into 49th place all-time on the homer list.
"Right now, not really,'' said Ortiz when asked if the homer felt special. "I'm just trying to play the game and try to keep on producing for this ballclub. I'll just try to keep on rolling.''
In time, Ortiz acknowledged, the homer will be appreciated in its proper historical context. But Ortiz, 36, intends to keep playing for several seasons. With the benefit of hindsight, the homer will someday mean more to him.
"I know at some point,'' he said, "when I'm not playing baseball, I might look at it from the outside and be like, 'Whoa -- I guess I had a good career.' But right now, it's just another home run that you put up there.''
There's something about facing the A's that makes for milestone homers for the Red Sox. Ortiz is the third Red Sox player in history to hit No. 400 against the A's. Ted Williams hit his 400th against the Kansas City A's and Carl Yastrzesmki hit No. 400 against Oakland, too.
Ortiz's cell phone was buzzing throughout the afternoon with texts and messages of congratulations from other players in the game. He estimated that he received "30 or 40.''
In his next at-bat following the historic homer, the A's public address announcer pointed out that Ortiz had reached the milestone two innings earlier, earning Ortiz a length ovation from the fans as he tipped his helmet in appreciation.
"That was pretty cool,'' he said of the reception. "You get something like that done on the road and people really appreciate it, it's (nice to get) appreciation.''
When he connected off Griffin, Ortiz had a pretty good idea that No. 400 had arrived. During the seven-game trip, he had hit a handful of balls to the warning track, but understood this one had the distance.
But after going six games without hitting a homer, he wasn't worried.
"To be honest with you, I wasn't worried (about when it was going to come),'' he said. "I was just swinging like a normally do and not trying to do too much.''
His teammates greeted him when he returned to the dugout and shared in the celebration.
"That was awesome,'' gushed Cody Ross. "Everyone was just waiting for it. It seemed like every pitch, he had a chance to do it. Once it went in the air, there was just a sigh for him, especially for him, just to get that weight off his shoulders. I'm just so happy for him and proud of him.
"It's a huge accomplishment.''

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.