Youkilis ready for first base, 'excited to play'

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Youkilis ready for first base, 'excited to play'

BALTIMORE -- A little more than three weeks after being placed on the DL with lower back soreness, Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup Tuesday.

Instead of his familiar spot at third base, however, Youkilis was at first base, with Adrian Gonzalez shifting to right field and rookie Will Middlebrooks remaining, for now, at third base.

"I'm good . . . good to go," said Youkilis.

As for returning to first, Youkilis didn't believe that would be much of an issue.

"I played it for many years," he said. "I'm good to go. I'm excited to play. They asked me, 'Are you OK playing first base?' I played first base for five years in my career. It's not like they asked me to play center."

"He said first base would be no problem at all," said manager Bobby Valentine. "He was ready to do whatever it took to help the team."

Youkilis said he achieved his goal of "being healthy and able to play" while on a week-long rehab stint with Pawtucket.

"I swung the bat good," he said. "I was just trying to get back into the swing of things and I felt good (Monday), so, doing good."

While manager Bobby Valentine has said he'll check with Youkilis to determine how much he can play right away, Youkilis didn't feel he had any restrictions.

"I think I'm capable of playing every day," said Youkilis. "I'm just excited about tonight and hopefully, I can do something good for this team."

"I told him, 'Just let me know,'" said Valentine, "and we'll take it day-by-day."

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.