Ross, Gonzalez step in for injured Red Sox

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Ross, Gonzalez step in for injured Red Sox

BOSTON -- Following Wednesday night's 10-1 win over the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park, Bobby Valentine was reminded -- during his post game press conference -- of the obvious fact that his offense did all of this damage without David Ortiz.
Valentine stepped in and reminded everyone that he wasn't the only player the Red Sox were missing.
"Without David and Dustin actually," said Valentine.
Ortiz and Pedroia have been two of the biggest pieces to this Red Sox offense over the years, but both find themselves on the disabled list. They hope that Wednesday night will be the last game that Pedroia misses, while Ortiz was just placed on the DL before the game.
With both missing on Wednesday against the White Sox, the Red Sox needed someone to step up. Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez did just that.
The two hit third and fourth, respectively, in Boston's lineup, and they combined for six hits, three home runs, and all 10 RBIs.
Ross led the way with six of those RBIs, and two of those home runs -- both three-run bombs that cleared the monster seats. His first came in the bottom of the third, breaking a 1-1 tie with a three-run bomb down the left-field line. His second came in the very next inning, putting the Red Sox up 7-1.
"Cody swung the bat really well, there's no doubt about that," said Valentine after the win. "Two homers and a double. Ya know, you're standing in there, and you start looking at this small sample of that lineup, and you have the two left-handers in front of Ross and the two left-handers behind him, he's kind of sitting in a rocking chair, you know?
"And it didn't seem like pitches were working as well against him, as they were against the left-handers. It's kind of interesting. And he made him pay. A great job."
And Ross nearly had a third home run. Bat flip and home-run skip and all, Ross thought it was gone, but it ended up hitting the monster and was in there for a double.
Either way, Wednesday night marked Ross' 10th-career multi-homer game, and his third of the season. He now has 15 home runs on the year, with 10 of those coming at Fenway Park.
"I had a good feeling Fenway would be a good spot for me," said Ross after Wednesday night's win. "With that being said, Fenway could work against you. If you're thinking consciously all the time that you want to hit the ball over the wall, chances are youre not going to do it. You're probably going to pull a lot of balls foul or roll a lot of balls over, so my thought process is, stay hard up the middle, try to hit the balls as hard as I can up the middle, and my swing path will create that lift that will allow me to hit a lot of fly balls. And this is just definitely a great place to hit for a right-handed pull hitter."
"When Ben signed him during the winter, he had said, 'I think he's going to have a lot of success at home, in particular.' And he has had success here," said Valentine. "He looks really good hitting here. But he's hit all year, big hits, here and on the road."
The same thing can be said as of late for Gonzalez, who had four RBI on Wednesday including a solo home run into the monster seats in the fourth inning that resulted in back-to-back home runs with Ross, putting the Red Sox up 8-1.
But Gonzalez' biggest hit of the game came in the bottom of the first inning, as he lined a two-out RBI-single to right field that scored Jacoby Ellsbury from second to tie the game at 1-1.
Gonzalez has now hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games. He has a four-game hitting streak after Wednesday night, but as Valentine pointed out, had Gonzalez not left the July 8 Yankees game with an illness after only one at-bat, he would have a 23-game hitting streak.
"He's driving runs in, he's using the whole field, he's hitting all pitches, fouling off the tough ones," said Valentine. "He looks like the real Adrian Gonzalez, right at the right time."
And Gonzalez' teammates point out that he's got his swagger back.
"Hes probably one of the hottest hitters in the game right now," said Ross. "Hes got that confidence back and that swag back that Ive seen for years playing against him. And every time he comes up, hes got a chance to do damage, and hes such a fun hitter to watch when hes going good. He sprays the ball all over the place and has a lot of power and can hit the ball over that monster too."
He did just that on Wednesday night, him and Ross.

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.