The real reason Valentine, McClure butted heads

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The real reason Valentine, McClure butted heads

With yesterday's firing of Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure, most of today's conversation has focused on McClure's relationship with Bobby Valentine.

This morning on ESPN Boston, Gordon Edes has a story in which he cites an assortment of jabs Valentine's taken at McClure over the last month or so. One was in an interview a few weeks back, when Valentine "accidentally" referred to McClure's time away from the team (to tend to medical emergency with one of his children) as a "vacation." There was another incident over the weekend when Valentine was discussing his coaching staff with the media and never even mentioned McClure's name. Finally, there are rumors that Valentine hacked into McClure's Twitter account while the pitching coach was asleep on the team bus and posted a series of Tweets, including: "God, it's been three weeks since my last shower! LOL" and "Don't tell my wife, but I'm gay." (OK, I made up that last part.)

Anyway, it's no surprise that these two didn't like each other. We've been hearing about their disconnect since the season began. Now the disconnect has been disconnected, and as usual, we're looking for someone to blame.

And as usual, I have one very clear answer: Larry Lucchino

You can say all you want about the idiocy of asking coaches who had worked for and respected Terry Francona to make a seamless adjustment into life under Bobby Valentine, but the thing about McClure is that he wasn't even one of Francona's guys. He was hired in November, a full month after Francona was fired.
In reality, there was plenty of time to find a manager and then find a pitching coach who suited his strategy and personality.

But in typical Lucchino fashion, it wasn't about what made sense. It was about conducting the most long-winded and public managerial search this side of American Idol. And by the time the Sox hired Valentine there was barely time to find a pitching coach that made sense for everyone involved. That left Boston to promote McClure from his original position as minor league instructor, and kick start the rocky relationship which has finally and thankfully come to an end.

Can't wait for next offseason when we can all go through it again.

(Anyone heard the rumor that Luchhino's looking to hire Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez to choose the next Sox manager and pitching coach? I'm still working to confirm.)

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.