FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It hasn't taken David Ross long to take control behind the plate.
The catcher, who was signed to a two-year deal over the winter, was firm and vocal while catching Jon Lester Sunday, offering tips on mechanics during the outing, then huddling with Lester to go over some issues after the outing.
"He's an encouraging catcher," said Farrell. "Just talking to guys who have thrown to him, there's been such positive feedback on the interactions that they've had, either after a bullpen or while they're actually throwing a pen and David's comments in between pitches. He encourages every guy that he catches. I think pitchers feel that connection. They feel that support from him and that's one of the reasons that make him so valuable -- the ability to get the most out of a given pitcher.
"Not only is he smart in reading swings and getting a feel for a hitter in the batter's box when he's trying to make adjustments, but he speaks with confidence to the pitcher. And I think that any time a pitcher hears that, they feel it and trust a pitch that's called at a given moment."
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.