Too many mistakes catch up to Red Sox in loss to A's

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Too many mistakes catch up to Red Sox in loss to A's

OAKLAND -- Ahead 2-1 in the ninth inning and seemingly headed for a victory over the Oakland A's, the Red Sox badly fumbled the game away in every conceivable manner Tuesday night -- in the field, at the plate, on the bases and on the mound.

There was plenty of blame to go around in the aftermath of the Sox' 3-2 loss.

At the plate: With runners on first and second, third baseman Nick Punto, whom manager Bobby Valentine labeled "the best bunter on the team," failed to get a good sacrifice down.

Punto popped the bunt attempt up in the air, and Oakland first baseman Chris Carter, anticipating the bunt, came in, making a diving catch of the bunt.

Punto, unsure whether the bunt was caught, raced to first base, where teammate Mike Aviles, who had been on first, was doubled off.

"Nobody out, standard play . . . just got to get the bunt down," said Punto. "It was a simple execution play and I didn't get it down. That's what I do - simple fundamentals. Can't make those mistakes."

"We had first and second and no outs," lamented Bobby Valentine. "That's where the game was lost. You can't bunt into a double play there. It's that simple. We've got our best bunter on the team up and he's got to be able to bunt the guys over."

On the bases: After the bunt mishap, outfielder Ryan Kalish was on second and decided to try to steal third with two outs. He was gunned down and the Sox were out of the inning.

"It was an aggressive play," said Valentine. "They blocked the base on him. He had it stolen. He had it stolen, he just couldn't get in there. Good play on their part, bad play on ours.''

Asked if Kalish had gone on his own, Valentine said: "They didn't hold him. I wasn't expecting a steal. If I don't want him to go, I better hold him. It was an easy steal -- big leg kick (from pitcher Jerry Blevins), he just couldn't get by (third baseman Brandon Inge's) leg."

Said Kalish: "I thought I got a good jump. I think I was even safe. Sometimes that's just the way it goes. (Inge) had his leg in front of the bag so I think that's what (the umpire) saw."

In the field: With the potential tying-run on second, Brandon Moss singled to center. Kalish charged the ball, hoping to make a throw home, but in the process, over-ran it as Chris Carter scored and Cliff Pennington went from first to third.

From third, Pennington scored on Coco Crisp's sacrifice fly.

"I've got to play better defense," said Kalish, who misplayed a ball Monday night, too. "That's why I got called up. That's what I need to do the best and right now, I'm just not doing that."

Kalish admitted that he picked his head up as he charged the ball to see where Carter was and that proved costly.

"Yeah, for sure," said Kalish. "Between that and the ball out there kind of snakes a little bit. That was something the last few days of BP, you see. Like I said, I've got to play better 'D'. No excuses. That's something I've got to bring to the park every day."

On the mound: Alfredo Aceves had a 2-1 lead, but suffered his fourth blown save of the season and sixth loss.

He allowed two singles and a game-winning sacrifice fly.

As is his custom when pitching poorly, Aceves left the clubhouse with answering questions from reporters.

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.