BOSTON On Thursday night, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine continued his offseason tour, which has taken him to all points throughout the United States, and destinations beyond. This time he was in Boston for a fundraiser to support Kevin Youkilis charitable organization.Valentine was happy with what he saw from his third baseman, whose season was cut short by injury.He looks good, Valentine said. And hes a very extensive, once, twice, and thrice over by our medical staff. He liked what they were doing and they liked what they saw. So thats good news.But, after the trade of shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Rockies, it's still uncertain who will be playing to Youkilis left on Opening Day. Nick Punto, one of Youkilis best friends, and Mike Aviles are contenders, along with Jose Iglesias.I have no idea how its shaping up, Valentine said of the left side of his infield. But I know how its going to be anchored. How Youkilis is going to be flanked, Im not sure yet. But Im confident itll all work out. I dont want to speculate on any of that stuff until I can get with my coaches, see what it is individually, collectively. Im confident it will be fine.But I never look at anything in a vacuum. I always look at how things work together. Lineups work together. Pitching and catching works together. Left side of the infield works together with the left fielder in how thats going to look. So its not an individual thing. But I think each individual position needs to be filled by a quality person at the major league level, in particular, on our team with the competition that were going to be facing.
For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."
But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood.
The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity.
The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet.
With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.
"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."
The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside.
While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that.
What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other.
Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.
*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.
*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.