Sense of urgency fuels Sox victory

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Sense of urgency fuels Sox victory

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Perhaps it was the frustration of losing a one-run game the previous night, highlighted by some issues with the umpiring.
Perhaps it was the knowledge that another loss would cause them to lose additional ground in the division, wiping out any progress made by a five-game winning streak at home.
Whatever it was, manager Bobby Valentine sensed that Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays had extra signficiance. So Valentine managed like it was a must-win game, even if was only mid-May.
"I was just going after this game tonight," said Valentine after a 5-3 victory. "I felt the guys really wanted this game and I was going to do everything I can to win it, not that I don't manage that way every day. But sometimes I'll take some future considerations (into account).
"There weren't any future considerations tonight."
Indeed, Valentine managed the game like it was the seventh game of a playoff series, using five relievers, including three different relievers for three hitters in the seventh inning.
"I think every game's important," said Mike Aviles, who got ejected for the first time in his major league career for arguing a called third strike in the top of the seventh. "But the fact that they won Wednesday in a close game and we had another close game tonight, it's good to always get that second win, get on the road and continue (the success).
"It's definitely good to get the win and go about it any way possible and I think Bobby did the right thing, mixing and matching later in the game."
Asked if a sense of urgency existed for the game, Cody Ross, who drove in four of the team's five runs, said: "Definitely. It wouldn't be good dropping the first two on a tough road trip, then going into Philly and Baltimore, a team in first place.
"We know how good the Rays are. We have to play them every single pitch like it's the last. Tonight is a perfect example of a team win and good for morale."

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.